The Burden of Empathy : Chapter 3

Chapter 3 

I awoke around 8:10.  When you’re a stoner you sleep incredibly well,  but the morning after you go to sleep high is always a sluggish one, which I have every day.  I awake feeling languid but with out the euphoria, your muscles are also tense and achy from a lack of changing positions while asleep, and your stomach is achy and you suffer numerous “fake pukes.” I don’t credit this entirely to the weed though, my stomach problems have hurt me my whole life, and weed actually kills my aches and pains.  I pushed down on my morning wood to get it back to normal size. Yes I had dreamt about her, which is not important at this moment. 

  I got dressed in a pair of jeans, a blue flannel and a Beck t shirt.  I brushed my teeth and hair and opened the door.  The light from outside and the sound of the door opening awoke my mother.

“I’m going to go check out the breakfast,” I said

She said, “Okay,” and rolled over to sleep in a few extra moments.  Before I left I grabbed a book from my bag.  I then left the room and snuck behind a wall to smoke a few bowls.  I then crossed the parking lot and ate the mediocre free breakfast of a bagel, a bowl of Rice Krispies and cranberry juice.  The coffee tasted like crap and I didn’t even bother to finish it.   I then sat there and read my book.  It was Songs of the Doomed by my hero Hunter S Thompson.  I also brought Invisible Monsters by Chuck Palinuck and Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut.  After I was finished I decided that the dining room/buffet/lobby of a Best Western that’s packed with a family of loud rednecks isn’t the most enjoyable place to read essays about LSD and the Hell’s Angels.  So I went outside and smoked two more bowls and put in some visine. I then returned to our room.

When I entered the blinds had been open to emit light into the room, and my parents were out of bed, fully dressed and putting on their shoes.

“How was the breakfast?” My mother enquired seeing if she should even bother with the predictable continental breakfast  or just grab something at Starbucks.

“It was alright, not a lot you guys would like just bagels and cereal, no fruit for some reason, and the coffee sucks.”  The mention of crappy coffee was enough for my mother to seek elsewhere, she only drinks what she considers to be the best coffee.  

“Well, we’ll see what’s there and if there’s nothing we’ll stop at the Safeway, there’s a Starbucks there.”  I wasn’t surprised by her answer.

They left so I flipped on the TV, and it was my source of news, none other that the most trusted anchor of my generation, Mr. Jon Stewart, who knew that a comedian on basic cable would replace the “news” stations as the truly investigative and expositional journalists?  Before they had Cronkite and Brokaw, now we had Stewart and Colbert.  Who knew that CNN, Fox news, MSNBC, and CSNBC would all turn out to be evil?  I did.  They would be too cowardly to shock the masses out of complacency but what they forget about was their roots, about how the original twentieth century journalists exposed evils in child labor and nativism.  The modern press is nothing but nativists.  Who knew that it would be this funny man on the screen who would take down the bubble economy blowing pigs of CSNBC?  Cable news is pure propaganda, and Jon Stewart thwarts this evil day after day by simply showing each channel talking about the same fucking issue twenty times in a day, and he’d show the stupid shit those “journalists” say.  Journalists are supposed to be the people who expose people saying stupid shit, now they say the stupid shit.  Now because their viewers mistake their stupid shit for news, we have a population of people who are stupid shit and they do anything a commercial tells them.  The fact we think we are immune to propaganda unlike the people of WW I or Nazi Germany is bullshit.  If you look at our reaction to 9/11 you see we buy up propaganda in a nut shell.  That’s how Bush played his evil games, fear and propaganda.  Eventually the fear went away, but the propaganda didn’t.

I smoked a little bit more then snuck a few beers. I pulled out my note pad, expecting inspiration to strike and I’d spill out one of my poems or one of my essays which are in truth just “arty” versions of my lectures and rants which is in a sense this entire book.  Peace and love, enlightenment, materialism, suffering, you know real angst filled shit.  Shit like that is what I usually write about, but nothing was flowing at the moment.  So I read more of the books I had brought.  I then was given a boost when I started to feel the alcohol.

Inspiration struck and I wrote the following, it’s a poem or a lyrical rant, I couldn’t think of a good title so I settled on the generic and already used “America.” 


America, Heed my warning

Do not cast this aside as the ravings of a heretic

Please take this into consideration

End this fear of wisdom of across the sea

Indulge in the addiction of literacy

Cast aside your lonely heavenly pages

Embrace the gifts at hand

look forward

End this attachment to green papers

Share your dollars with those who have none

Take the words of the teachers

Be meek

Love thy neighbor

No Matter what robed man guides you 

You have no excuse for hate

Love is not just for the bedroom or the marketing executive

What could be more beautiful a sight than that of love?

The poem was not my best work, and I would later throw this poem away when I discovered one of my heroes, Allen Ginsberg, already wrote a poem similar to this with the same title. But the juices kept flowing, and I then created the next piece, I decided to write a poem about high school, I haven’t settled on a title, so I guess it could just be “Cold Shoulder Bitches.”


Cold Shoulder Bitches

Ego maniacal Gladiators march with a short term pride

Psychotic housewives get their training 

Extortionists, Racists, Prostitutes, all getting their fix

      In the prime of Life

All at the taxpayers expense

Jizz and painkillers stick to toilet seats

Plastic water bottles of moonshine

Ecstasy in pills and cum

Sweet vapors, harsh stenches

Broken bottles, crushed cans, used rubbers

Youthful innocent bloodshot eyes

Halls of bureaucrats who weep over the approaching reaper

Reality is too dark a room to live

But the room has a window to open light

Yet night lingers, always

Glass chambers of sweet vapors Break the dawn

Broken bottles and sweet vapors help to cope 

Even the bureaucrats do

Not bad I thought, but I could do better.   Just your average stream of consciousness.  Then came the next work, this is just a satirical venting of all my pubescent insecurities.


I am your typical teenage boy

I have no talent, smart or skill

I can’t play sports, I’m not a musician

I’m not fit, and I aint good looking

I can’t talk to girls, I never go to parties

I’m never happy, I can’t get laid

I’m hairy dirty smelly and ugly as Fuck

I have no self esteem

I abuse Drugs

I masturbate nightly

I hate my zits

I never do anything right

I love a girl I’ll never get

I disappoint my parents

And I hate high school

I’m your typical teenage boy.

I found this poem funny, my confidence is at its lowest point at this time in my life.  Once I got it written down, I felt a little better about myself, because when I read the poem I realized most of those things weren’t true.  I do have some talents I just need to find them, and I would eventually become invited to parties.  The whole thing about girls is fairly true, I thought I made that obvious with the fact all I do is fantasize about her.  I also cherish every small tiny insignificant conversation I have with her, no matter how much I embarrassed myself, or how little she says back.  I worry this is stalker status, but I always look myself in the mirror and remind myself she has never showed interest and probably would never go out with me.  So I don’t bother pursuing her.  I’m no sick stalker.  Just a lonely teenager.

After I had gotten three poems out of my system, I got rid of the bottles and chewed a stick of gum.  I then sat and watched TV.  My parents finally returned.  They were laughing and chuckling but I could tell they hadn’t eaten anything.

“So…” I said anticipating a response.

“Yeah, we’ll stop at the Safeway on the way out and pick up something,”  said my mother.  “We’ll have a little picnic somewhere.”  She said attempting to still her laughter.

“What’s so funny?” I asked.

My dad looked at my mom, that look you give when you’re asking “Please?” Without saying it.

“You can go ahead and tell him, I know you’re dying to.” She said.

“We’ll okay.”  My dad prepared to tell a little story. He looked at me with an amused grin.  “Well we were looking at the breakfast and I was saying, ‘Theres nothing here lets head out,’ we headed for the door when suddenly,” he was stuck in a moment reliving hilarity, “Do you remember all the fat people we saw at the McDonalds in Idaho?”

“Ha, yeah,” I said remembering the funny yet hideous site of a three hundred pound white guy in a Bush/Cheney shirt putting multiple mayo pacs on a Big Mac.

“Well, that doesn’t even compare to the people at the breakfast down stairs.” He said chuckling.

“How bad are we talking?” I asked. “I mean I know the Mickey Dee’s was pig town USA, but how hideous are we talking?”

“Well, as I said,” he continued, “We were leaving and two of the fattest families I’ve ever seen walk in the door.  I mean these were REAL wide loads, the biggest lards I’ve seen in my life.”

“And that’s saying a lot,” my mom butted in, “because you are so old.” She said with a sarcastic laugh.

“Thank you dear,” my father said sarcastically thanking for my mothers contribution to the story. “Any way, eight of the fattest shits I’ve ever seen walked in, and the thing was the two families weren’t even related.”

“So for no reason two super fat families just conglomerated in the lobby out of nowhere. How could you tell they weren’t related?”  I asked.

“Because they entered behind one another and one was white and the other black.  Both had two fat ass kids to that I think were about your age, 16 or 17, and let me tell you they were dressed so trashy. Ghetto trash and trailer trash.  Both ladies showing off their cleavage, the white guy was in a wife beater.  Skin tight, every one had their cracks out.” He shook his head in disgust, “It was bad.”

I shared a chuckle with my dad.  We then packed the car, and drove down the street to the Safeway.  I left my parents to do their shopping, medications and nasal strips and ear plugs, my dad snores like a fucking fog horn and my parents picked up fruits sodas and butter croissants.  I picked up a copy of Rolling Stone and roamed the aisles waiting for my parents to finish; I put in my ear phones and blasted The Black Keys.  As I wandered I went down the aisle with the condoms, and I can honestly say this Safeway had the largest selection of rubbers and KY I’ve ever seen in a grocery store.  I already had a rubber in my wallet because of my fathers insistence, and I knew I wouldn’t need more, I knew I wasn’t going to get laid on this trip.  

We got in the car and were off on the high way which doubled as a scenic route through the forests and led through the national park.  After forty five minutes we pulled into the information building of the park, the museum of all the stuffed animals of the area and info about the hike trails, shit like that.  My parents got in the information line for directions and a map of the park so they could drive through and get back on the highway.  While they were there I snuck off to the restroom to have a toke.  It was one of those concrete single person toilets, the ones that remind you of a prison cell without a bed. I locked the door and smoked a joint of hash and weed.  In an instance of stupidity I decided to exhale my hits and hot box the bathroom.  If you don’t know, hot boxing is when you smoke weed in a closed off area where the smoke can’t escape, like a car, you exhale and fill the space with smoke and inhale the  smoke settled in the room and you get higher.  I realized the stupidity of this idea and paranoia started to settle in, so I decided to leave.  As I opened the door and the biggest cloud of skunky smoke burst out of the door as I was still inhaling the joint was a six foot tall, beefy, with a crew cut, Humboldt county sheriff.  

He looked like an extra from Reno 911 who moonlights as a body builder.  I was frozen in panic.  I was fucked.  The pig caught me red handed and there was no escape, not when your leaving a smoky bathroom with a burning joint in your hands and eyes so red they look like every blood vessel in your skull had burst.  I knew I would be hauled to off jail where I would become Bubba’s plaything, and I was about to humiliate my parents  and be in more trouble than ever because I broke my promise, I got caught.   

I just stood frozen while the cop looked at me, then at the j in my hand. 

“You going to give me that, right?” he asked pointing to the j.

I immediately handed it over to him, and he took the longest drag I’ve ever seen and coughed like a mother fucker.  I don’t think he was expecting the hash which made it pretty harsh on the lungs.  He looked at me still hitting it, “I’m going to keep this.  You run along now.”

I didn’t waste any time.  I sprinted to the car, opened the door and slumped in the seat hiding under the windows.  As my paranoia passed, I had come to the realization I just got jacked by a cop.  But I let it go, what could I do, report him for doing drugs after he just caught me doing drugs?  Forget it. Besides, I forgot all about it when I saw my parents come to the car.   I rushed to get the Visine in before they got back.

They spread out the map and started driving up the road.  The forests of Humboldt look like Jurassic Park and the forest moon of Endor.  These trees were taller than some skyscrapers, all along a beautiful coast hidden behind the trees and hills.  After a drive we decided to check out the “drive through tree.”  

We paid the extortionist price of eight dollars and drove down a massive hill.  Finally we arrived at the tree, and wouldn’t you know, the goddamn car wouldn’t fit through the tunnel in the tree trunk.  The entire base of the redwood was scoped out into an arch, the car was only 6’-8’ and no Toyota sienna or Suburban or any car a “real” American drives was going to fit through that fucking tree.

So we parked by the redwood benches near a wide open field, a short meadow with a pond in between the vast clusters of redwoods.  My parents pulled out the back pack cooler and began to eat fruit and drink Cokes for my mothers caffeine fix. I stood by the bench and ate an orange as my dad stood a few feet away and took pictures of the tree.  

“That things rotting,” he said.  He pointed to the top of the tree revealing the space where a large branch had just broken off and a dark brown and gray patch had filled the gap.  

“Yeah, it’s pretty bad.”  I noticed.

“A complete tourist trap, look at the gift shop right by the tree.  Eight bucks and we could not even drive through the fucking tree.”

“Pure extortion,” I replied.

“Damn right,” he said.  “Eight bucks to see a rotting fucking tree.”

We walked back over to my mom, and we got into a conversation about my usual pet peeves and interests, I elaborated my hatred for capitalism and the pointlessness of looking to the future, and why we should live in the moment, that the past is past and the future is now.  My parents understood, and agreed at points, but capitalism is something my father and me can’t see eye to eye on, he maintains it provides food for us since we own a store.  I maintain if you properly mix capitalism and communism in a fair balance, nationalize banks, energy and phone service providers, the rates would be regulated and fucks like AIG could be kept under control.  If the Iraq war and Bushes war crimes weren’t enough for a populist uprising, the way he fucked our economy in the ass to the point of depression from a large surplus and made the minority rich, should be reason enough.   We need to destroy Wall Street and nationalize banks and insurance to regulate profit and keep these fucks under check.  All this is a perfect excuse for a populist uprising.  I maintained the point that an uprising would be a good thing.  A little revolution every now and again is a good thing, provided the motivation of the revolution is a wholesome one and driven by education and love.  

My parents agreed with a lot of what I said, and they understood where I was coming from.  They knew I hated the rich, I hate money.  Money is the most pointless invention known to man.  It’s not necessary.  I mean, if you were stranded in the middle of the forest with nothing but a wad of cash, that cash isn’t good for anything except a fire.  I just don’t see why people are driven by money, because if you work and make a lot of cash what are you going to do with that money?  Buy a bunch of shit you don’t need.  We work jobs we hate to buy shit we don’t need so we can raise our kids to go to school so they can be made fun of and be told what to think and how to feel.  We forget we can be guided but the answer ultimately has to come from with in, we can be taught a lesson but it’s up to us to comprehend it.  We are a community of individuals, we all perceive a different reality but we all live in the same world, because we are all one being, the division we see isn’t real, and since we are all alive in the same world we might as well get along.  

I explained this to my parents, they agreed for the most part, and with what they didn’t they at least understood.  I was lucky to have a good relationship with my parents.

I finished eating and left my parents to one of their conversations.  I wandered over to the tree, to look into the tunnel and numerous tags and initials that had been carved into the inside of the tunnel, hearts circling a couples initials things like that, so I pulled out my knife and in huge letters I carved my own message, I wanted something shocking yet bizarre, confusing in a way.  So in large capital letters each at least a foot large I carved the words “CASH KILLS!”  I decided to top it off with a shock value piece.  So I carved a bold sickle and hammer under it.

We got rid of our trash and returned to our scenic route.  After my lecture to my parents, I began to become enraged as I thought about what I said and the rip off that was this tree.  It was a double whammy.  Not only did the assholes who own this place exploit nature to fatten their wallets and extort our money, but they were putting lives in danger at the same time.  Just like the government and companies that run this country.  Despite the way-out and weird antics of Humboldt and its ever impressive openness, it still was not free from the stranglehold of commercial capitalism.  The evil which tricks us into paying bills and working for cash just to survive.  When did life receive a price tag?

 This idea infuriated me temporarily but it past within minutes.  I has too high to be mad, and if you cant change something you shouldn’t bother getting mad.  But I like to think the fact I get angry shows I care.

I sat in the back seat once more, high as a kite, this time listening to TV on the Radio and Jimi Hendrix.  We drove by more of the Humboldt tourist traps as we drove up through the prehistoric redwood forests.  




We finally came to our hotel.  A Best Western on the outskirts of some small Humboldt town called Fortuna, right by the Eel River .  We were on the second floor across the parking lot from the lobby in the far corner.  We unpacked, my parents slept in the bed in the front room, and I had my own bedroom in the back corner near the bathroom, so I was assured plenty of privacy which meant plenty of pot smoking.  

I got my over the shoulder bag with Chap Stick, my weed paraphernalia, and a book.  I told my parents I was going for a walk to find a place to go read.  I walked out the room into the harsh Pacific North coast wind, which despite the sun and the fact it was summer, made the place fucking freezing.  I walked out to a path sided with reeds on the side of a cliff at the river, I stayed on the path until it went down a large hill which lead to a spacious faux-beach by the river, vast gray sand and yellow reeds in a dark river.  

I checked my stash, I had plenty of weed to last the trip, but lucky me, as I walked right there on the ground was at least a gram of the most crystal coated weed ever.  I knew that since I was in California’s capital of weed I could buy a sack fairly easily, but Fucking Christ I never knew the weed would be as free as air.  This was the socialism I always fantasized about.  Free weed!

I picked up the smoke and packed a bowl in the pipe, then mixed it with the stash I brought.  I sat and smoked then pulled out my notepad, because I was thinking about her so much, I just had to write something, hoping this wouldn’t sound stalkerish.  

This poem is called “My League”


Her beautiful glow taunts and teases me

Tempting me while casting me away

She is the world while I am the devil

The peasant to the royals

Forbidden from her courts

Why can’t I be happy in my sphere?

Would I be happier in her sphere?

No, I belong in no spheres.

What is my place?

I’m I valid or Insane

History shows the line is thin.

It felt like gibberish. Just more cliché angst shit, I hate cliché angst shit and I hate this poem, and I hate myself for not being confident enough to be with a girl like her. And   It didn’t rhyme! It doesn’t matter my stuff never rhymes anyway.

Every time I think of her my mind goes off in a thousand directions.  I fantasize what it would be like to be her boyfriend, what it would be like for her to meet my family, what it would be like to fuck her.  It’s always very passionate hot fucking, like in a movie, not like a pig-fucking/fake cumming porno.  And not just sex for the sake of sex, sex for the sake of love. It would be an amazing experience.

After I was completed with the poem, I decided to return to the hotel, the wind was too harsh and my long hair looks like crap in the wind.  So I started walking back to the hotel.  The resistance of the wind pushed me back, and added five minutes to what should have been a ten minute walk.  Yet despite the efforts of Mother Nature I returned to the hotel room.  I found my mother and father on their lap tops doing some work.  I could see we would be getting very cozy in the suite.  “Well some vacation” I thought.  But I realized we would be leaving soon because we had yet to eat since eight this morning and it was now 2:30.  My whole family has a low tolerance for hunger.   I suspected we would be eating at the pub and microbrewery, my father had connections with the owner and it was the only other restaurant within walking distance that wasn’t a fast food joint or a Denny’s.  Plus I knew my parents couldn’t resist the pull of micro brewed beer.  If you are a tea totaler and you don’t know why this is significant, it usually means the beer is much fresher and tastier.  If you’re one of those people who don’t taste the difference, and to you beer is just beer, well fuck you.  Beer is an art, and it isn’t mastered by Miller or Bud.  My father is the brew master of the Sacramento Valley.  People travel for miles to come to his store and seek his endless wisdom on home brewing, and every year we get a fridge stocked with a shitload of micro and home brewed beer.  God bless you daddy.  You’ll never know how much I, and what few friends I had, loved that fridge.

Sure enough they asked me to get ready to go to lunch.  It was in fact going to be at the pub.  I looked forward to eating, I had the munchies pretty bad.  I went into my room and put my bag on the bed, I then emptied the unnecessary out of my pocket, my iPod, pencil, mini notebook, all the stuff I wouldn’t need at the restaurant.  Just my wallet and phone.  I then checked to be sure I had nothing in my front pockets, and sure enough, I had two dime bags in the front pocket of my flannel.  One held two large Vicodon and three Norco’s, which are the more intense Vicodin.  The other was little bit of already crushed Vicodin.  I set the pills in my bag for later, I forgot that I stashed my pills in my front pockets when the shirts were in my closet.  It was a smart hiding place, until you actually wear the shirt.  But no matter, I didn’t mind having a few left over opiates.  This was the genius of the pharmaceutical game, they still peddle us drugs like heroin and amphetamines, but they just tone down the intensity, still keep it as addictive, and slap a new funny name on it, like Vicodin or Ritalin.  By keeping it addictive and less intense than the pure drug, they keep it legal and make a huge profit off of us.  

These medicines should be free to the public.  I never understood the issues with universal healthcare, or anything truly nationalized so long as it wasn’t intruding in peoples lives. Why not just pay for everything in our taxes?  The way I see it, rather than pay monthly bills for everything and go through the stress every month of the year, just pay for it all in one big bill and only be stressed for a part of the year and just sit back the rest of the year free form the fear of bills penetrating your mailbox.  

You can obviously tell from the above passage that I’m fairly lazy.  My critics will no doubt use this against me when they attack this book.  But understand I try to be responsibly lazy.  I try to get my work out of the way first hand, so I can have the rest of my time to be free to be lazy.  And yet again I have skewed so far to the left from the topic.  

We finally left for the pub at three.  We sat in the middle of the restaurant, in between the bar and the kitchen, looking out the window into the large garden.  It was beautiful with a polished gazebo, yet no one was outside.

My father ordered a sampler of the microbrews, and my mother ordered a tall hefevizen, and I ordered lemonade.  Once again I feel like a pussy ordering that despite my age.  Christ!  I’m sixteen at this time and I can hold my booze better than some forty year old alcoholics I meet at the parties my parents have dragged me to.  It was even more embarrassing when I was ordering it from a cute waitress who was eyeballing me a little.

My parents got into conversations about the beer, and my father forced my mother to taste each of his samples.  I trailed off looking around the restaurant pretending not to care I couldn’t drink.  I saw it randomly decorated with ribbons it won for the beer.  It held a few deer heads, and a burlap bag labeled, PURE HOME GROWN MARIJUANA.  This is my kind of place, you’d never see that in a restaurant in Sacramento.  I enjoy the openness of the county, there were positive vibrations all around me, but I could still sense there was a bit of the infestation I have to deal with at home.

My mother ordered a patty melt, my father a Rueben, and I ordered a veggie burger.  We then returned to idol conversations and I spaced out randomly as usual.  I think about her, and my self, I wonder what it would be like to kiss her beautiful, cherry toned lips; it would probably be like tasting a cherry flavored tootsie pop for the first time.  I apologize for the cliche love simile.  

  After a few minutes, a tall wide and thick set man entered the restaurant, this was the owner Ted, the man who knew my father.  The man came to the table and shook my father’s hand thunderously.

“How are you buddy?” Ted said with an equally thunderous voice.

“I’m doing pretty well,” my father said.

“How’s the hip?” Ted spurred.

“It’s good,” My father replied, “It’s moving a lot better, hurts a lot less to walk and drive.  My other ones starting to go, so it’s going to have to be replaced to.”  My dad clearly wanted to change the subject.  He pointed to mom and me.  “You remember my wife Wendy, and this is my son.”

“Hello,” I said.

“Hey there,” he shook my hand enthusiastically.  His hand was almost twice the size of mine. 

“We brought him to take a look at Humboldt State.” My mother decided to put into the conversation.

“Oh Yeah,” Ted said. “Well I recommend it I love it here, I came to Humboldt when I was about twenty, haven’t left since.”

“Cool,” I said, hoping wasn’t appearing off-putting as I usually do.  

“Yeah, he’s perfect for here, he has the Humboldt mindset,” my mother said as everyone enjoyed a mild chuckle.

“Oh yeah?” Ted said jokingly, “Well you probably wouldn’t like me then” he said with a smile. “I make Rush Limbaugh seem liberal.”

I thought of a witty reply, “It’s alright, I make Michael Moore look conservative.”

  We all shared another hackie social chuckle.  

Ted promised my father a tour of the brewery after our meal and he left to return to work.  Our food then arrived and my parents returned to an idol conversation.  And his mention of Rush Limbaugh infuriated me.  What he said was funny, I’m not mad at Ted.  I just hate Rush Limbaugh more than any living thing on the face of the earth, besides frat boys but that’s a tangent for another time.  The man was a pure piece of shit, but that’s a rant for later also.    We enjoyed our meal, my mother and I returned to the hotel and my father went with Ted to the brewery.  

Once back in the hotel room I confined myself to my bedroom.  I turned on the TV for background noise and sat on the bed.  I decided to smoke in my private quarters.  I did the same thing I did before except this time I blew the smoke out the window threw a towel to absorb the smell and smoke.  I didn’t want my parents to get fined for my psychoactive substance use.  The TV was on GoldMember.  So I just got baked and lied on the bed giggling at the jokes and obvious Pepsi product placements.  After the scene with Britney Spears’ head blowing up, a coincidental preamble to her rise and fall.  It was a commercial.  First it was some clip promoting the Twilight movie.  That’s right, its time for the Twilight rant.

Twilight was ruining our youth hand in hand with High School Musical, the Jonas Brothers, in a narcissistic orgy of Christian teasing sex appeal with purity rings and vampire books whose series is a metaphor for chastity (Thank you Rolling Stone issue 1067).  Stephanie Meyer is corrupting our youth with this abstinent series.  Teenage years should be fueled by sex, booze, drugs and raising hell.  Because this is the only time in life where such behavior is acceptable, until you finish college.  The Jonas brothers and Twilight were ruining this.  

Perhaps I’m being a bit too judgmental, it is one of my biggest faults.  In truth, I have no problem if people like these things, I’m not ordering every Twilight book burned and The entire Disney Channel lynched, not a bad idea for Rush and Fox News though.  We have the privilege, or at least should, to do whatever the fuck we want as long as you’re not hurting other people.  If you want to read Twilight go to it, I wont stop you, I’ll just disapprove.  I just think people shouldn’t be wasting their time on fluff like that, or if they do at least admit its corporate mass produced fluff and not to take it seriously.  Absorb it as entertainment, not a way of life.

Now that I think about it, by giving money to enjoy things like Disney, you’re giving your money and time to big corporations who feed off the proletariat to make their profits, which they waste on their personal want and not the common good.  Also by purchasing any of the mentioned bullshit, you are hurting yourself by binding yourself to consumer culture and material possessions.  Corporations are very sneaky about making us not think twice about what were doing by giving them our money.  We are blind sided by their perks and conveniences, I have no problem with people making a profit so long as they share their excess as much as possible.  But no, they pocket it and shun the “losers”, real laisez faire Social Darwinist bullshit.  The truth is you need everyone in the world, because the useless give you someone to look down upon.    These corporations keep you blind by doing everything for you, they prepare your food make your clothes and even does your charity work for you.  With all the good they do for you, it’s easy to forget the third world children who sewed the clothes and it’s easy to forget the chemicals and preservatives in our food are giving people cancer by the millions. I heard my father return, as I continued my pondering and giggling at Mike Myers funny accent.

Inspiration struck, and I grabbed my notepad, this poem is called The Guilty Innocent.


The Hierarchy of the human race

Forever ranks the tortured soul among the scum and filth

No matter what the opposition says, they know it true

The innocent know and preach for good

But act for nothing

And solve the problem of which hole 

To burn in the pocket first

The starving lie with the criminals

As the soldiers lie on the couch

Talking the talk

Not walking the walk.

This was for all the teachers and students and parents who accept the fact “life isn’t fair.”  Life isn’t fair because we accept that it’s not fair.  We are all equals in this world, we all hold a spot in the cycle of the environment, we are all a part of the chain.  But we buy into the dog eat dog bullshit of capital driven culture.  Sometimes I feel like I’m the only person who realizes this, and I wonder why I can’t just keep my mouth shut and do what I’m supposed to.  The simple answer is that Im crazy.  As humans that’s all we ever want, simple fucking answers.

Forgive my tangent babbling.  

As I watched the movie remnant of the 2000’s, the age of crappy alt rock and pop, the climactic years of the TRL and Jackass,  I smoked more weed and decided to flip through my Rolling stone.  It was the year’s summer double issue with Barack Obama on the front.  The man is without a doubt one of the most impressive men to be elected since FDR.  

Yes I’m not afraid to show my evil liberal bias, yes I hate this country and I want to destroy everything society holds dear. As does the Black Muslim socialist man who will dismantle the evils of Bush, the cocaine filled interior department or the justice departments hiring standards which were worse than oaths of allegiance during the Cold War.  These were not fun times.

The magazine also updated me on approaching albums and went into detail about a festival I would have killed to go to, Bonnaroo, I’d kill to go to any music festival, and I’d especially do it to see My morning Jacket, Kings of Leon,  whatever band Jack White is in at the time, and my other favorites.  Rolling Stone is a good magazine, it sees through the bullshit I try to get people to see, we probably have Dr. Thompson to thank for that. RS hasn’t been the same since the Doctor died, he was the only journalist in the world to admit with out fear that it was all bullshit.  

  You have figured out what bullshit Im talking about now I’m sure. Anti drug and alcohol ads, faith in institutions, (jail, schools, religion) war, and overall everything that “America stands for.”    Rather than put faith in a system which merely symbolizes human decency but offers only punishment as retribution, one should actually just be the best person they can be.  You do so by doing all the things you’re taught in preschool, share, don’t do anything to others that you wouldn’t want to be done to you. 

Society can’t be perfect but it would be a lot less complicated if you just see it’s all about love.  Love your environment, love your neighbors, where one does nothing but good one feels nothing but good.

This is all I want people to understand, if people would just take the time to converse and at least attempt to understand my ideas, then maybe I wouldn’t hate school so much, maybe I’d feel a little more confident, in both myself and the potential in our uprising.  But I guess I’m just a selfish whinney baby.  Other people who feel this way have God and Jesus and shit like that to turn to, but I don’t.  I  believe that there is no God, that there isn’t really a purpose for anything, I truly believe everything is the product of both random events, but still the karmic wheel.  I believe there isn’t a meaning for when something unfair happens and there isn’t really some big plan for us humans, the fundamental establishment of my beliefs on the nature of the reason for just about everything, is shit happens.  Shit happens, we can control the actions and movements but in the long run the outcome is always out of our control, and its also out of the control of everything else, except karma.  But karma isn’t controlled by some invisible force, it’s just the product of your conscience and your perception of reality.  This wasn’t going through my head while I was reading the magazine, I just thought I should further explain why I feel like I’m crazy.  

The magazine had interesting stories, but it had no news about any of my musical interests.  No new CDs or reviews, except for the fact My Morning Jacket was now on the top 40.  I then set aside the magazine and just watched tv.  It was a commercial so I decided to see what mediocre channels this hotel would provide.  After about five sports channels, C-SPAN, HBO, Disney, and last the ultimate evil Fox News, and who’s show was on but the most despicable man on the face of the earth next to Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity.  The moron who actually convinced his base that Barack Obama was a secret Muslim, that “socialism doesn’t work” and any one who opposes the Bush doctrine hates freedom which is just an oxymoron.  He is a blind loyalist who will say anything that pops into his down syndrome stricken little mind.  He blindly clings to patriotism, calling this “the greatest nation on earth” the fact is the USA is only a few hundred years old, the Chinese, Egyptians, Indians, Greeks and Romans have had incredible national cultures for thousands of years. In those thousands of years these nations gave us paper, written languages, stories, and the foundations of modern society.  Yet in the 200 years that America had to be “the greatest nation on earth,” we have created monster trucks, the Big Mac, Cable news, and a long list of other useless crap that raped our earth, blocked the path to enlightenment, and have turned the world into a bunch of corporate dependent bastards who get their news from sources owned by the same companies tending to their whims.   

This is why the media never goes into the real issues.  The companies that make life so much easier for all of us buy the media and put what we want to hear on the TV, not what we need to hear.  So this is how a retarded American dream Reagan humping loyalist got a show.  Where he bullied the little nerd.  It was like watching a grown man act like a jockish high school bully. Sean Hannity is a prick, as is his leader Rush.  After Obama gets elected Rush’s petty ass publicly cries for Obama’s failure merely for the success of his party, he ignores that Obama’s success will affect the success of the whole country, the world for that matter.  The entire Fox News and Rush radio crew and every other talking head on cable news who thinks their opinion matters can’t accept the fact that the entire crisis is bigger than them.  

Its funny, Fox News was completely lenient when there messiah was raping our rights and giving them tax cuts, but the minute a black man gets in office Fox all of a sudden cranks up the “investigative journalism,” but a clip show on the O’Reilly Factor called “Best Ambush Interviews” isn’t high quality investigative journalism.  

I take back my earlier statement, Sean Hannity isn’t the worst man to show his face on Fox News, Ann Coulter is.  

I’m simply going to break down the top five evils now, Sean Hannity is a greedy bully, who only fears socialism because he fears a loss of his own money, he completely ignores the down trodden and he blames everything on 9/11, and he clings to the patriotic nature of the event.  Has he donated a dollar of aid to help the health of the volunteers who are now dying of asbestos and other complications from helping on that day out of patriotism?  

So Sean Hannity, if you want to be real patriot and do the public a true public service. Shut the Fuck Up, you are an idiot.  

Ann coulter, you’re a moronic bitch who will say anything to get on TV.  You cling to right wing Christian bullshit that doesn’t even make sense, you are a racist homophobic bitch and you know nothing about the liberal agenda which you shit talk about constantly.  You’re just some hag blond who grew up masturbating to Reagan’s speeches while using the crucifix as a dildo.  You know nothing about the Christian agenda either.  “Jesus had more leadership skills than Obama” that would make sense because Jesus was the FUCKING SON OF GOD, and Obama is just an elected public servant.  It makes sense the son of God was a better leader.  But Jesus didn’t preach war, hatred ,and the rest of the shit that comes out of that anorexic bitches bony orifice.  

Bill O Reilly, you’re simply a new money Irish boy who clings to his blue collar roots and values out fear of being mixed with the very elite he hates.  But you can’t see you are mixed in, you are the elitist!  

Glenn Beck, you’re a whore for a camera and you’ll say anything that pops into that turkey neck head of yours.  Fuck you.   

And Rush Limbaugh, you’re a fat self centered attention grubbing pill popping hypocritical man angry at the fact the world doesn’t always go your way so you bitch and moan and blindly blame liberals for everything.  You are without a doubt the worst human being to have lived in the public eye in the early 21st century.  I hope you all die an early death, so that I can by a 40oz beer and roll a fat joint and party on your grave.  Mark my words, I try not to be petty and I will only do this once, but the day you people die I will be dancing on your graves with a beer and a joint.  Or maybe to avoid legal troubles Ill just hack a fat luggy on your graves.  Who knows?    

All this rushed in my mind from just a five second clip of Fox News, I didn’t even hear what they were taking about, I immediately flipped back to the movie.  I had to calm myself, I must remember that they are a minority of people trying to brain wash the majority with this crap, and it’s obviously out dated.  Will someone tell these fuckers its not 2002 any more, and 9/11 is long gone and no longer exploitable?  Tell Cheney to, that bastard just wont go away, the Bush administration and their true believers are like herpes in the Obama generation, touch them once and they are around forever.

My parents called me into the next room, in a rush of panic I checked my eyes, which were not in the least bit bloodshot.   So I entered the room and found my parents sitting on the bed.

“We are going to go drive around and check the place out and look for something to eat maybe,” my mom said.

“Cool, when?” I asked.

“In about thirty minutes,” she replied.

I returned to my room and put on my converse, thirty minutes was plenty of time to smoke more weed and get nice and fucked up for the drive around.  It was planned we would tour this town then make the drive and explore Eureka.  A small town which is the big city of the area.  I got more baked while I watched the 2002 artifact on the screen. 

 It was 6 when it came time to go.  I got back in my usual seat behind the driver.  I was so high I couldn’t keep my head up so I just leaned it back on the head rest for the duration of the trip and lived in my world where Flight of the Conchords, the Flaming Lips, and Cypress Hill play to block out my parent’s conversation, and to block out the douche bag blasting “Low” by Flo Rida on his speakers in the Lincoln next to us.  We finally made it to Eureka, circling the blocks looking at the stores and restaurants for potential stops.  I noticed the city had the look of an old small western town which had been modernized.  Historic buildings mixed with remnants of 50’s, 70’s, and modern architecture.  

The streets were fairly empty and the stores were mostly closed.  I passed by the occasional gaggle of night owls getting started on the approaching night, the occasional bum limping to his spot, and the occasional middle white class American on their way home from selling out to the establishment.  

I was in a fairly strong daze, I felt like my head was floating.  I had decided earlier that I would ask around to find a place to buy weed, but the town’s population was so underestimated, plus my natural shyness kicked in and I was too nervous to ask.  I could have easily just asked one of the homeless people myself and I probably would have found a great hook, but no, I couldn’t decide “Is it worth it?”  

Finally I noticed a skinny Asian boy about my age.  He was in a Volcom shirt and designer jeans, with spiked hair and a Rasta tri colored sweat band on his wrist.  The Rasta colors where an instant flag, “He can guide me to weed!”  So I called out to him.

“Hey!” I bellowed.  When I got his attention I nodded and he came over and started walking with me slowly down the street.  “Hey bro you know where I could score some trees?”  

He went from a look of hopeful optimism to sudden disappointment.  “No man, I was kinda hoping you’d have some.”  He then followed with a forced laugh.  

“Damn. Well what now?” I asked rhetorically.

“You wanna go looking for some?” he replied to my surprise.

When ever someone presents me with a potential social situation, I’m usually inclined to say no.  Simply because I over think the possibility of me embarrassing myself by going on one of my long winded rants and having nobody care.  But I was hoping to buy some weed and I knew this would probably be the most time I could actually get away from my parents to do so.  So I said yes, and off we were to search the town.

“So what’s your name?” I decided to use this to get the conversation going.

“Eric,” he said.

I told him my name, I could see he was waiting for me to say the next thing again.  “So do you live around here?”

“Yeah,” I could see he wasn’t aware I was from out of town.  In a sense I don’t see how he would.  I’m one of the common sites in Humboldt.  Acne cursed young adult with shaggy hair and scruffy neck beards in tye die and flannel. “You don’t?” he followed.

“No.  I’m from Sacramento.”  I replied.

“Oh, that’s pretty tight!”  I thought he was just being polite, but I could clearly see he really thought Sacramento was cooler than Humboldt.  I thought vice versa.

“It’s really not,”  I said with the awkward laugh you get when watching The Office.

“Really?”  I could see I was disillusioning him, and his hopes of the potential of life beyond Humboldt.  I  had just met him and already I’m changing his perceptions, I’m sort of a dick I guess.  

“But it’s the capital?”  He pleaded.

“Well, It has a few cool things,”  I could see he wouldn’t let go of the possibility that Sacramento would be cooler than Eureka so I decided to acknowledge my town’s short list of pros before I begin the long list of cons. “I’m mean it’s cool because there’s like, tons of good weed and lots of stoners there, but there isn’t like, any really cool places to hang out, at most we have the river.  I mean here you got forests, the beach, and all these shops that you can just walk to.  It’s cool.  Where I live I  got to drive ten minutes minimum to get anywhere cool, and that sucks because I don’t have my license yet.”  All of which was true, and valid.  Sac-town does have its ups but “My big problem is the people, they’re a bunch of preppy assholes and rednecks mixed with pretentious elitists and hipsters. Like there’s rednecks, preps, hipsters, and stoners in Sacramento, that’s it.”

“Well you think it’s any better here?”  he said  “It’s nothing but hippies and rednecks in these mountains.”

“But I’m a hippie,” I said, “and in Sacramento there aren’t that many hippies except the phony rich ones, I need to be around more real hippies.”  I was super into superficial labels back then.  People still think of me as a hippie, but the truth is, I’m nothing.  I’m just a part of the illusion.

He nodded and we agreed to disagree, even though I didn’t think this was that big of a disagreement.  I realized that even though I was walking with this kid I didn’t even know where the fuck we were going, we just continued in the direction we met in.  

“So where could we go around here to get trees?”  I asked.

He held an ear bud in one hand and pointed towards the ocean with the other.  “We might be able to find some at the Boardwalk. There’s usually a bunch of bums up there.”  My sense of political correctness made my spine curl at the use of the word “bum” as it does for all other epithets.  “That’s the thing about Humboldt, you gotta smoke with the homeless.”

“I don’t mind,” I replied “I enjoy smoking with anyone, just so that I can have stories to tell.”

He nodded as if to say, “I’ve never thought about it like that.”

We finally reached the boardwalk.  Just a sidewalk along the coast held up from the water by wooden poles.  The place was almost as bare as the city.  Where the sidewalk ends an endless sea of water spans out as far as the eye can see only to meet with the falling sun on a distant unreachable line of blue and red.   The sight was blocked by the occasional bum, we asked around for pot but all denied they had any, and one person we didn’t ask because he seemed fairly busy with his conversation with the devil.   

“Damn,” I said “Where da bud at?” I then followed with a forced chuckle, as did my new friend.  The polite chuckle that says, “That wasn’t really funny, but your cool so whatever.”  I then decided to cap it off with “I thought everybody smoked up here?”

“Yeah,” He blurted out, almost sounding like he was offended. “This is Humboldt.”

“Yeah, so let’s just keep looking,”  I said.  We turned the corner and walked back in the direction we came, this time walking on the real side walk on the edge of the town and docks.  I decided to keep the conversation going.  “So what grade are you in?”


“Freshman going on Sophomore, or eighth going on Freshmen?”  This would be sort of weak if I was looking for weed with a Freshman, but weed is weed.  So I wasn’t bothered when he said the second one.  But I did decide to fuck with his head a little.  I thought, “What the hell, this guy will never see me again.”

“So do they, like, haze freshmen here?” I asked and observed his reply, he only gave a confused look to say, “What the fuck does Haze mean?” I wanted a stunned wide eyed look that would say “Jesus Christ I sure hope not!”

“Like… you mean those things you do to get into clicks and frat houses?”

I nodded.  

“I don’t know, do they do that in your town?” He said.

“Well, I can’t speak for the entire city, but at my school, yeah there is a little bit of hazing from time to time again.”  I said, hoping the preposition ‘I Cant speak for the entire city’ would ease his fears and let him know I didn’t really know for sure.  

“Like what do they do?”  He begged in fear.

“Well at my school we can people. Well not We, I myself would never do it because I try to be a pacifist as much as possible, but a few freshmen have been canned.  Some as retribution and some as just joking among friends.” I then started fingering my front pockets to see if I had a joint somewhere. 

 I could see I was really raising his fears about going to a new school, I wanted to fuck with the kid’s head a little bit, but I began to feel guilty, fortunately I found a slightly pregnant j in my front pocket which could make up for my mean prank.  I whipped it out and showed it to my friend.  He immediately forgot what we were talking about.

“Damn fool, that’s fat!”

“I just remembered I had this, I still want to find a sac, but we can smoke this in the process.” So I sparked the j, took a fat hit, and passed it to my eager new friend, who hit it happily.  Weed is always better when you don’t have to pay for it.   We passed it back and forth as we walked down the street, until we heard someone call out.

“Hey!” an unseen man barked.  My friend and I turned or heads and across the street were two homeless men, one nodding for the two of us to come over.  I recognized them, we had passed each bum individually on the boardwalk and now they became a pair probably for their safety.  When you’re homeless it’s better to stay close to other people in the biggest groups possible, people are less likely to fuck with you if you got a mob to back you up.  Safety is in numbers.

The man had nodded us over so we approached.  It seems our quest had ended, we finished the joint but I had a roach that was big enough for a full bowl in a pipe. If they didn’t have enough to sell, maybe they had enough to match.

Both men were dirty, needless to say, but they were not repulsive.  One looked 40 and had only a t shirt and cargo pants on.  The other was over 20 but younger than 35,  he had a beanie, a windbreaker, jeans, and a goatee.  The one without a beanie had called us over.  

“You dudes still looking for smoke?”  He asked.

“Yeah, I’ll buy some and smoke a bowl with some match bro.”  I replied.

“It’s just some shake,” he said as he pulled an Altoids tin from his pocket.  Opened it at it was filled with shake AND THE FIVE STICKIEST SWEETEST NUGGETS OF WEED I’VE SEEN IN MY FUCKING LIFE! “I figured ten bucks.”

I gave him the cash, and he gave me the tin.  On the condition we smoke a few bowls with them.  I felt guilty, like I was ripping them off, but then I realized if he can sell that for ten I don’t want to even imagine what he gets for ten.  Shit.  Why are these dudes homeless, they could be selling weed and getting off the streets?  Probably got a drinking problem or something.  

That’s judgmental, I shouldn’t say that, I apologize.  

So we smoked four bowls and just chatted.  Talked about how good the weed was and how the pipe was really cool.  I asked what their names were.

“Raymond,” said the one in the beanie.

“Mad Dog,” replied the other enthusiastically.  Mad Dog, yes, his name was Mad Dog, like the cheap booze.

It may seem weird to you, but I love crazy and eccentric people.  So I gave a light chuckle. “That’s tight dude,” and I legitimately think that is cool.  I think it’s the coolest thing in the world when you just do what the fuck you want just to raise a few eyebrows.  

The time to say my goodbyes came, I was due to meet my parents soon, so I bid my new friends, “So long, and thanks for all the weed.” A Douglas Adams reference that no one got which made me feel like a bad comedian.  I then turned my back and left, knowing I would most likely never see them again.

 But in the distance, I heard Mad Dog call out to me, I couldn’t tell what he said, it went sort of in an out, but what I heard was.

“Care, f..  There… Opium…”  Something about opium, but I just turned back smiled, and gave a final wave goodbye, playing like I heard him clearly.  They all just stared at me which made me feel nervous so I immediately turned away awkwardly.

I wandered around streets, looking for the square I was supposed to meet my parents at.  I hadn’t realized how turned around I got with my friend looking for dope.  

 I turned one corner which turned out to be some sort of back alley parking lot.  All that was there were two blank walls that stretched to the end of the short street, in the middle of them was an empty one way street, and beyond the to walls was a half empty parking lot.  

This is what infuriated me, the only decoration adorned on either of these walls, was a giant, Hitler-esque, Jonas Brothers propaganda poster.  Under the poster, in sloppy black graffiti, the words “SENIORS CLASS of 2008,” and “GO WILDCATS!” were dawned.  I didn’t mind the sloppy tags on the building, they are a standard though pointless part of the essential shallow high school experience.  But the site of a 5’x5’ poster of those soulless fucks, and the fact that no one bothered to remove the horrid propaganda, filled me with a rage so huge, I decided to commit arson, and that the victim would be the poster.  

I pulled out my lighter, and sparked a corner of the poster that had peeled of the wall, the fire spread out across the chemically coated page giving it a haunting blue and green glow.   The flames slowly creeped up the poster, eating away at the bodies of abstinent, Christian, and Disney evil.  

The fire evaporated the glue, and the poster fell off the wall, floating down in the breeze, still aflame, the remains of the poster landed in the gutter and the flame swallowed the face of the lead Jonas, whatever the fuck his name is.  What a fitting parallel for these boys future.  We all know how stage children turn out, they either become psychos like MJ  or Britney or Kirk Cameron, or they become either junkies or coke heads.

After I stomped out the final ember, I continued my search for my parents meeting place, I still had plenty of time.  But finding your way around an unfamiliar town while high as shit isn’t easy.

Eventually I found our meeting spot, I was early so I waited and decided to just idle at the weed I just bought for a bargain.  Not only did I score 1 free gram, but I got at least 5 grams for 10 dollars,  I had plenty of weed for the trip, and enough to bring back to show my friends.

Eventually my parents arrived.  We walked back to the car and drove off.  We stopped at a near by Walgreens, my parents went inside and I waited in the car.

Now to anyone who hasn’t liked my story so far, for everyone who believe this tale is just angsty bullshit or just some pimply teen whining about his depression and his confidence issues, or thinks it is just plain boring, keep reading.  This is where it gets interesting.

I was sitting in the back, listening to Santana, looking out the windows, when I saw a homeless man sitting on the wall twenty feet from the front door, he just sat there, with a sad lonely look, and a cup in his hand.

When I looked out the window of the opposite side, I saw a car with three teenage girls in it, they were typical blonde preppy looking girls, driving a new Mustang they obviously didn’t buy themselves, a complete cliché. Two of them walked in the store, while one waited by the car, about five seconds later, a guy about her age walks out of the store, she walks up to him, and they embrace each other.  Which almost got me to fantasize about her, but I was too busy immediately despising these two to think about anyone else.  They started walking, and eventually passed the homeless man, I saw him ask the couple politely for change and he held out his cup.  What happened next truly filled me with an indescribable rage, more than the site of Sean Hannity or the poster, or even W and Cheney combined.

The fucking boy, the piece of shit who already has a hot girl friend and has enough to the point where I’m sure he could do without a little change or a few dollars, spits in his cup.  And I don’t mean a small squirt of saliva, the bastard stopped, snorted and hacked, full phlegm, right into the poor man’s cup.   I want the reader to be assured, I’m almost never violent, I occasionally have violent thoughts, but I never act violently, even all the times where I got called “fag” or “loser” or whatever, I could take that.  It might have been my hatred of rich undeserving trust fund kids, or my hatred of fiscal conservatism that drove me to it. Or the fact it was happening to someone else and not me, but this time unlike all the others, I reacted.  Because I was never more pissed off than I was at that second.

I got out of the car, and ran around the opposite side of the building, to meet them at the corner.  While I ran I passed a pile of metal pipes lying in the alley by the trash, I picked one up. 

 I then hid behind the corner and waited.  

I heard them approach. 

 I couldn’t hear what they were talking about, but I could hear the bastard chuckle, now I anticipated their arrival.  

They walked past, and I approached from behind, and slammed the pipe as hard as I could across his lower back.  

As she screamed at the site of his fall I slammed the pipe on his rib cage.  She screamed even louder so I gave her one good hit on the head with the bottom of the pipe, just enough to send her to the ground, to get her worried about herself and to stop worrying about the bastard.  

She was out cold with one blow.

The fucker was down on his belly moaning and groaning in a pain so pathetic, it made him look like a whinny child.  But even then, I was not done. 

I pinned my knee on his chest to keep him down, and just wailed on him, punch after punch.  My hands were getting red and sore, but I didn’t care.  I just kept pummeling him.  He’d spit out teeth and blood on the concrete, and I still kept hitting him.  I broke his nose, and possibly fractured his skull, and I kept hitting him.  Until finally his pathetic whining stopped, and the sight of him no longer enraged me but horrified me.

 I was so horrified, I just ran way.  It was all I could think to do.  Now I was the pathetic child, I was crying and begging for some one to make it go away.  “Im sorry I don’t know what came over me” is no excuse.  You have no idea how much the guilt and fear hurt at that moment.  I had gone against everything I believed in, and hurt two living things.  I ran into the car panting, and just hid, relieved no one saw, and paranoid about the potential of cameras.    While I waited, I just stared at my hands.  The hands that might have just killed a man.  When I saw I had stains of blood on my left knuckles, I wiped it has best as I could with a paper towel.  And while I did, I swore never again to raise my hands in violence against any living thing.  

This was the moment my childhood ended, granted I was 16 at the time so it should have ended technically by now.  But at that moment I realized I was no longer the child my mother saw me as or as the capable young adult they bragged about me being.  Now I saw who I was, a violent and mad maniac.

I just sat in the car, freaking out.  Now this here can be considered as the sum of my problems, this is the burden of empathy, the problem with caring about other people.  That’s my problem, if I had just not felt bad for the homeless man, I wouldn’t have beat the rich kid.  If I had just not cared about the man, like everyone else, I couldn’t have this problem.  If I just stop caring about others, I wouldn’t  be so pissed off at the world.  

Finally my parents returned with the purchased items.  Without consulting me, they decided to just crash at the hotel room for the rest of the night, “Because we have enough food in the coolers.” My mom said.

Normally I would be frustrated, I always depend on my parents to go out for meals so I get the satisfaction of a big free meal, but I was in no position to complain, I wasn’t even paying for my dinner and I was still paranoid about the fact I might  have committed double homicide.

No, impossible!  I couldn’t have killed the girl. I know she was breathing when I left, but that boy was motionless.  I had to stop thinking about it, so I pulled out my iPod and looked for a good song to settle my nerves, I started with The Black Keys, and then listened to the fluff rap coming from the cars next to us, one was playing Low By Flo Rider, the other Soulja Boy.  I choose Low over that.  Soulja boy is the most talentless rapper to live since Vanilla Ice, and the biggest bitch to exist in rap EVER.  That doesn’t mean I like Flo Rida, but I can admit Low or Right Round are catchy songs.  As you can tell the music was working a little bit.  I was becoming more relaxed, but the incident just replayed in my head over and over again.  I was keeping the guy pinned with one knee, One fucking knee!  And I could have beaten him to death with my own two hands, and…

FUCK! A massive flow of paranoia hit me as I realized I left the pipe there, and I wasn’t wearing gloves.  MY FINGER PRINTS ARE ALL OVER THE FUCKING PIPE.  Then I remembered I had dropped it in the pile where I picked it up from as I ran back to the van, I hate it when you think you forget something you did and you freak out about only to realize you didn’t have to freak.  I sighed and was mildly relieved, even if they dust those pipes for prints, I’m safe, because all of those pipes are identical, you can’t pick out which one I had used, plus there were probably a million other peoples prints on all those pipes.  I felt slightly relieved, but still on the verge of a mental breakdown.  I was on the verge of tears, I thought of just confessing it all to my parents right then and there, but I didn’t.  I couldn’t disappoint them like that.  Nothing hurts me more than when I disappoint my parents.  It’s a very clever way of controlling your kids.  Trust them.  Trust them their entire lives, and I promise you they will never do a fucking thing out of the fear of looking you in the eyes and lying.

We finally got to the hotel.  I rushed in and caught the shower, I then washed my self and my hair, then sat in the fetal position, rocking back and fourth, crying.  Crying for the pain I had just delivered.  Crying for the fact I didn’t know what to do, I just wanted to go tell my mom so she could make it go away like usual.  But suddenly a moment of clarity happened in that shower.  

I stopped crying and became thrilled at my epiphany.  I got out of the shower looked my self in the mirror, and said to my reflection, “You are legally almost a man.  If you are going to be a man, you have to deal with this yourself, you cant put your burdens on other people any more.  Lazy days are over.”  So I swore never to tell my parents.  The guilt and pain I felt from my regretful deeds was all my own, not my parents, but mine.  So I have to face it on my own, besides, now I have no choice but to conquer fear, which had been ruling my life like an oppressive dictator.

I dried, put my pants back on, and walked out of the shower, feeling mentally refreshed and reborn as one does after an epiphany, but physically I was tired, strained, and my knuckles where still red and swollen.  How my parents didn’t see them Ill never know.  Maybe they did and just never said anything.

I then proceeded to the cooler to get out some fruit and yogurt and a hard boiled egg for my dinner, and a coke to wash it down with.  As I fumbled through the stacks of Ziploc and prepackaged food, my dad called to from lying a top of his sheets, while he does his Sudoku puzzles.  

“You know if you want a mikes or a beer or something, there in the small cooler,” he said.

“Okay, thanks dad.” I replied

“You’re welcome.”  I then proceeded to the second cooler, then with my mother noticing, I grabbed two hard ciders.  Although dad technically dad said I could only have one, he caught me with them both but said nothing.  He just looked at me from across the bed and winked when he saw I had two.  I smiled back, and he smiled to me.  The smug smile that means “We now have a secret together, so we’re bonding.”

I returned to my room and shut the door. I flicked on the television, looking for more to distract me from my current anguish. The alcohol helped.  When the TV came on it was GoldMember again, they were playing a “Marathon of spy comedies” which really means, “since we already used all our reruns from the regular season, we’ll play movies on a loop for filler.”  I smoked about four bowls in a row so that I could forget the pain.  By the time they got to the Silence of the Lambs parody with Austin and Dr. Evil, I was so baked I almost didn’t care about the fact I just mercilessly assaulted two people and might have committed murder.  I was lost in my state of higher consciousness and distracted by the idiot box playing a flashback to the beginning of the decade.

I watched all the movies, Austin Powers, Undercover Brother, and Spy Hard.  I then smoked two more bowls and flicked off the TV and crashed on the bed, the time red 10:30, so I closed my eyes and passed out.

Published by James J Jackson

I'm a poet from California.

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