(I wrote this on Oscars night. I remember staying up late editing it. Then I decided it was a failure and didn’t post it. But here ’tis, failure or not.)
We go to the Rock’n’roll Ralphs for the thrill.
We have our own Ralphs here in Silver Lake, but it’s all normal now. Silver Lake is all normal now, Silver Lake used to be Silverlake and edgy and new and leathery gay but that’s long gone, gone with the punks and the freaks and the vatos. It’s all rich people and hipsters with kids and beautiful single women. Ours is a nice Ralphs. There’s a couple Ralphs across the river in Glendale…there’s an Armenian Ralphs and an upscale Ralphs and between them an eerie underground Ralphs that always make me think of Beneath then Planet of the Apes. You enter the parking lot above ground and way in the corner there’s a winding driveway that leads you into the Stygian darkness below. Inside, though, it’s just a regular Ralphs. Continue reading →
I did meth once. It was a gay drug then, and our gay friends were getting heavy into it. This was Hollywood in the early 80′s, before AIDS. Everyone did everything, we all figured the world was gonna blow up any day now so why not? There was a defrocked gay chemist living upstairs from our friend Tom who’d lost his chemist license years before. It was a crowded apartment building full mostly of other gays at Wilcox and Fountain right in the center of Hollywood. At night you could hear the inhabitants loudly fucking. Tom lived on the second floor. The crazy queen chemist was brewing meth on his stove on the upper floor. Cool! None of us thought about explosions or anything at all, really. This old ex-chemist certainly didn’t. It was obvious he’d lost his job due to the drugs he could make, and if I remember right he’d spent the 60′s making LSD, making a lot of money and a lot of friends. He was like a crazy mad scientist who laughed and laughed and spun a million disjointed stories about hippies and rock stars and handsome men. Tom was a retired lieutenant colonel from the US Army, his friend Clint a talented stage actor gone over the edge. I forgot the name of the defrocked chemist. The gay scene in the 80′s was dark and decadent, all kink and leather and things we were not allowed to see, ever, innocent straights that we were. But we loved to party and had no hang ups and so all became great friends. Naturally we were invited over to their meth party. Meth party. Sounds so trailer trash now. Not back then, though, meth was the new blow, but at recession prices. Lasted longer than cocaine and you could make it on your stove if you were smart about it and no one got blown up. Our buddy loved classical piano, Horowitz especially, he had a hundred cassettes of Horowitz, and his living room echoed with great sweeping Russian arpeggios that would collapse into huge ivory pounding crashes. Rachmaninoff gone mad. The meth made our ear drums vibrate and it was Horowitz in a wind tunnel. My god it was exciting. The meth was piled on the coffee table, gleaming white, and there were plenty of straws. We drank cheap red wine in fancy glasses and ate nothing and talked all at the same time and laughed hysterically at nothing and I couldn’t take my eyes off of Fyl’s tits. I wanted her so bad just then, then and now, right there, and probably tried. No luck. We drank and drank and drank and snorted and snorted and snorted and went home who knows when, nine or ten in the morning. Sleep never came. I wrote. I still have that pad. The letters get bigger, more jagged, the grammar dissolves, soon the pen is shredding through the pages like a knife. I listened to crazy music. My hard-on had disappeared hours before, unthought of, impossible. Fyl finally crashed. I couldn’t. I just stayed up and up and up. I wanted to sleep but couldn’t. Just stayed up and up and up. It got boring. The eyes vibrated. The teeth ground. I was vibrating and grinding and twitching and bored. The trip finally became manageable and I got loads of things done. A zillion little things. I cleaned and straightened out and wrote but was too antsy to sleep. Antsy. Like army ants antsy. Too many ants antsy. Not itchy antsy, just twitchy unsettled antsy. But that feeling too subsided and exhaustion took over. Utter exhaustion. Two of three days worth of exhaustion. The thing was over. I slept hours and hours and hours. For a few days afterward I spit out pieces of teeth. There are gaps now where they used to be. I can run my tongue where they once were and remember.