Archive for the Rant Category

THE DOWN LOW

Posted in Rant with tags , , on February 5, 2010 by raindog51

The first day of February finds me sitting in the Pharmacy waiting for my meds to be ready.  Every month I have to go down to the Long Beach CHC to pickup my meds. They used to be free, but now I have to pay for them (I make more than the $1100 a month cutoff point…but I could still qualify for food stamps, if I wanted to). So every month, I head over and get in line. Usually it takes about an hour. I take a crossword puzzle to pass the time. I’d like to chat with my compadres but my Spanish isn’t any good.

So there I am, waiting for my number to come up, when this young guy comes stumbling through the door, heading towards the counter…but he never makes it and ends up collapsing on the floor. Mi gente (my people) and I look down at him lying on the floor, then up at each other, then back down at him. There is a general tsking and murmuring of “pobrecito” amongst the women. One older black woman gets up with a look of annoyance, as if she’s thinking, “Oh lordy, just what I need, a stupid white boy screwing up my morning;” and wanders out into the hall, presumably looking for help.

After a few moments I get up and go to the window… Continue reading

Advertisements

Why is the Water Turning Red?

Posted in Rant on October 16, 2009 by raindog51

In my last post I ended with the analogy of slipping into a warm bath and how nice it will feel. Now, I’m afraid I must confess that the temptation to slit my wrists while in said warm bath is very tempting.  What saves me from doing so is the fact that it would be very embarrassing if I failed in my attempt (tho truthfully, who would notice?) and I wouldn’t want to cause my landlady, who is a very delicate flower, any more grief than necessary.

What? A considerate suicide? WTF?

So, since my last post, the job market for me has steadily declined to the point where I’m actually trying to make a living selling poetry books…You know times must be hard if that’s the case.  This ain’t no San Francisco Heyday, no small press renaissance, not yet anyway. Maybe after the revolution moves thru town the people will develop a hunger for what Lummox Press has to offer. But for now, I’m taking on whatever I can find and believe me, there ain’t much out there…at least not for me. Perhaps I have offended the powers that be, the gods of menial labor, I just don’t know. Is my English too good? Am I too old? Does my breath stink? I don’t get it.

I’ve never had a problem finding work before. It scares me. I’ve actually started looking at other cities to move to, because this one is getting too expensive to live in. Or maybe I should buy a van (with what money, that’s the problem) and go mobile…I’ve done it before, of course I was younger and more resilient back then. But it’s easier to do now, what with WIFI and cel phones…all you really need is a place to store your shit and a place to flop, which could be the same place if you play your cards right. You can eat hot meals pretty cheaply. You just need a secluded place to sleep, one where the cops won’t be rousting you.  You can take a sink shower if you have to, where you get your coffee. It’s not like I’m gonna lose any friends over this…I don’t have many friends to begin with.

Still, not having a place to call “home” does kinda suck. I do remember that about the four years I lived in a house truck. It was a bit like living on a boat, but less sloshy. If I had my way now, I’d have a camper truck or a camper van and I’d just travel around, going wherever I felt like going.  There’s only a couple of things stopping me from doing that: 1) I don’t have any money;  2) I don’t have money for gas (and I’d need a lot of gas); 3) I don’t have the money to buy the aforementioned camper van and 4) where will I store all my shit?

Aside from that, I’m good to go.

A number of friends have suggested I move in with my mom or my brother, but that is highly unlikely since neither of them gives a good God-damn about me or my troubles (having plenty of troubles of their own). As I recall my life of some twenty-five years ago, when I first had to move out onto the streets of South Redondo (not a cop show) into a homemade camper truck, most of my family thought it was something I wanted to do…some kind of wacky adventure, like I should be floating down the L.A. river with some black guy named Jim…

I have a friend who has been living out of her car, her CAR, for the last two or three years; trying to find a job and get back on her feet again so she can get an apartment and start life anew. While she has been living in this struggle, she has finished writing a novel, kicked a meth habit, and met an array of creepy users hell-bent on taking advantage of her. Her story is a reminder of what I would call the minus side of the tally. You can add to that being harassed by the cops at every turn and being an easy mark for thieves.

But there are pluses like not spending as much money (tho that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be saving that money) on rent and utilities (Christ! It costs too much just to have the basics!). And it’s not like I can become any more of a pariah than I already am. I’ve become a solid weirdo and that’s not gonna change anytime soon. So why am I paying so much for a “storage” unit?

I don’t know. I just don’t know.

Did I mention that it’s always raining when I close my eyes?  Something for the next entry. Think about that…

WALKING SLOW

Posted in Americana, Rant with tags on July 12, 2009 by raindog51

Ever notice how, in certain parts of town, let’s say where the downtrodden and marginalized reside, you know that part of town (surely there must be a district such as that where you live); anyway, have you noticed how people seem to take their own sweet time crossing the street? It’s bad enough at stoplights but it’s really bad at street corners.  People just mosey across the street like they have all the time in the world, as if it doesn’t matter that you have someplace important to be.  I mean, don’t they know how important it is to you to get on with your day? Continue reading

HOLIDAY IN SAN PEDRO

Posted in Americana, political, Rant with tags , , , , on June 16, 2009 by raindog51

I can’t even think that without thinking of The Dead Kennedys.

San Pedro, California…it’s not just a small town clinging to it’s past, it’s also a concept, a mindset, if you will. The locals here used to call it The Island, because in order to get into town from the north (Los Angeles) you had to drive over a bridge, and later, from Long Beach to the east, it was another bridge (because the ferry was too slow). Eventually the Harbor Freeway dead-ended here, but you still cross that old bridge, you just don’t know it anymore. I don’t know if the locals still call it The Island, but the islander attitude still exists here. Continue reading