Thursday, July 24, 2014

Torture US Style

      Yesterday the temperature dropped thirty degrees. Faggypants said it felt autumnal and it did. I took my walk around six and it was quite pleasant except when the wind kicked up. As I was rounding the far turn of the lagoon boardwalk Michael Shannon came jogging by with his ever-present headphones on. The guy obviously seems motivated to stay in shape which is understandable now that he's a famous movie actor. I guess when you get as famous as Marlon Brando it doesn't make any difference if you pork up to five-hundred pounds. On the other hand, Val Kilmer doesn't seem to get much work these days now that he's three-hundred plus. One of my favorite Brando fat stories is  when the Comet Kahoutek was all the rage ten or  twenty years ago and there was a crowd of people on top of small mountain in LA; the spot was  famous for being a lovers lane and the comet watchers were shocked when  Brando suddenly appeared. He'd driven up with a tray of about a hundred chocolate chip cookies and passed them out to the startled crowd. According to  eye witnesses Brando was wearing a bathrobe over his pajamas and said that he'd just baked the cookies and didn't want to eat them. 
           Orson Welles was another big fatso famous actor. His most legendary feat of gluttony took place in Spain when he ate an entire roasted lamb and had to be rushed to the hospital. 
           When I walked in the bar I sat down next to Ruben Four Toes but had to move because at this time of the day the setting sun shines in the west window for about twenty-minutes and even with the bill of my Sox cap turned down it's  blinding. Ruben said Victor brought him some pork taco's that his wife made but that he gave them away to the guy sitting next to him, " I can't eat pork anymore." Ruben then went on to say that the guy he gave the taco's to was the same guy that gave him the wheel chair. "I told him that after we took the wheel off you tossed it out."
         "So you blamed me  because I didn't want a wheelchair with one wheel cluttering up the basement?"
        "Yes," Ruben nodded in his usual blunt fashion. 
        By Twenty-First Century standards Ruben's appearance is not prepossessing: he has  one leg when the current style runs in favor of two; his remaining leg's only function seems to be ornamental while his thin, carefully shaved mustache promotes a sinister appearance which is enhanced by the malevolent scowl on his overly large face. 
         Street Jimmy came in just in time to push Ruben's wheel chair outside so  he could - as Anya describes it - "feed the meter." Jimmy talked Gracie into a beer while Ruben was relieving himself. It's hard to gauge how much crack Jimmy's now smoking on a daily basis because he's been scoring so much money from his panhandling activities. Unfortunately Jimmy is no longer a man of great conversational powers nor is his articulation all that could be desired. Crack has clearly taken it's toll on our favorite degenerate drug addict. Fortunately for Jimmy crack seems to enhance his merriment and he was laughing when he pushed Ruben back in the bar. "Ruben tickle the shit outa me."
           Ruben, looking at Jimmy as if the little crack-head was a carnival freak-show attraction, seemed not at all displeased  at being made a figure of fun. After exhausting his customary plurality of strong epithets directed  at Jimmy Ruben told Gracie that he desired another  beer. Speaking more gently Ruben then asked Gracie to describe the lousy lunch she'd had that afternoon with Anya at some upscale Mexican restaurant. Not only was it lousy, Gracie confirmed, but it was extremely expensive. 
           Linda Kimbrough dropped by. She lives across the street from me and whenever I see her I tell her to drop by the bar. She is an outstanding Chicago actress and the first time I saw her perform was in the Seventies when she was starting out. Eleven, who had left the Charles Ludlum Theater of the Ridiculous group in New York, had started a similar group called the Godzilla Rainbow something or other in Chicago and Linda appeared in one of their plays. My Uncle Hugh was a huge fan of Eleven's and took me to the old Kingston Mines Theater to see the play Linda was in. She was marvelous and she continues to have a distinguished career.  We sat up in the window and had a delightful conversation.

          *

           This morning Street Jimmy was waiting for me again. He said he'd just eaten a sausage and his tummy wasn't feeling good. This surprised me as he normally has an iron stomach. 
        "Pork fucks me up sometimes."
          "You eat pork all the time, maybe you should go back to MacDonald's and tell them not to sell anymore pork today."
           This suggestion was not received with much interest as he commenced his sweeping. 
          Faggypants was a bundle of nerves and he soon worked up a sweat as he did his chores. After he finished his sweeping Jimmy pleaded with me to let him lie down and rest because of his stomach. When it came time for Faggypants to feed Jimmy I walked over to the bench where Jimmy was sleeping and asked him if he still wanted to eat?  He insisted that in spite of his stomach ache he was hungry. 
        "Okay, but I don't want you puking or shitting in here after you eat. Promise?"
           "Promise."
             When he finished eating Jimmy asked me for "mercy. Let me sleep some more 'cause I'm sick."
          "No mercy." 
           I then went on to describe for him the latest execution fiasco that took place yesterday in Arizona. "The guy suffered for two hours. There's supposed to be laws against cruel and unusual punishment in this country."
          "Yeah, but if he murdered somebody maybe he needed some torturing."
           Tobin had her I'm leaving town look when she arrived. 
           When I went home I took a nap in anticipation of Hawkeye's coming over to set me up with the partially edited version of my remarkable manuscript of Portrait of the Genius as a Young Man. He did not disappoint me and got to the condo around eleven in spite of the fact that he'd worked until four the previous night. He edited about a fifth of the manuscript and, after showing me how to hook it up he gave me a cut and paste lesson.
        
           
  

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Blushing With Shame

         Although I wasn't starving yesterday afternoon I thought I'd at least be hungry after I took an early afternoon walk. A lot of people were bitching about the heat and the park was not very crowded. I have no sympathy for people who complain about the heat - if you get too hot jump in the fucking lake and cool off, I like hot weather and I hate cold weather. Once again my back started hurting me and so I had to sit down for ten-minutes about halfway through my walk. I don't know why this is happening but it's highly annoying, especially since I no longer have any shortness of breath issues (probably allergies) and my legs never get tired. 
            After my walk I sat down at an outside table at Topo and had a nice Scottish smoked salmon dish sans wine. Midway through my meal Buzz Kill walked by and didn't notice me. He had an alone and friendless look on his unhappy face. I made a mental note to remind Buzz Kill of the axiom, "laugh, and the whole world laughs with you, cry, and you cry alone." When my waiter expressed curiosity as to why I was sitting outside in ninety degree heat I said, "it's quite pleasant in the shade especially with this lovely breeze wafting about me." 
       After I finished dining I went home and worked some more on my re-writes.

        *

        When I returned to the bar around six-thirty Officer Bill and Ruben were chatting. A nice kid named Blake, who's a bar back at Corcoran's, was also sitting nearby. Ruben continues to have misgivings about his ability to handle an electric wheel chair. Blushing with shame he said he continues to feel guilty about not having taken the time to learn how to use his new plastic leg.
         "There is much to be done and so little time to do it," I cautioned. "Perhaps you should take your plastic leg out of the closet and reintroduce yourself to it?"
         For some reason this made Ruben laugh and from the look on his face he seemed to expect me to do the same. 
         When Hawkeye came in he announced that the editing on my manuscript had slowed down and thought he'd need another week. I never envisioned that it would take more than four or five days and when he suggested taking a  week off from work  in order to devote more time to it I said no. "If you don't get done, you can always return to it when you get back from Scotland." Hawkeye wants to stay in Scotland until the vote on independence from Great Britan takes place.  When someone broke a glass Hawkeye just watched passively as Grasshopper, who was bar tending, swept up the broken pieces. 

        *

           This morning Street Jimmy was once again confused as to the day and time. When I told him it was only six-thirty he seemed shocked; he even made me show him the time on my phone. He said that while he was in MacDonald's some stranger came in and bought him , " a orange juice, potatoes and sausage. I didn' ask him or nothin', he jus' bought it for me. There was a bum who come in an' he got shit stains an' they let him down. They keeps lettin' people outa the crazy house an' they all comin' down here."
          "I saw Frank writing up some bum the other day by Walgreens."
           "Yeah."
            "Yeah."
            "There was a fat lady on the bus yesterday an' she be scratchin' ", Jimmy demonstrated by scratching in the region of his genitals, "an' scratchin' an' she gots her legs spread open and peoples gotta sit on tha' seat after she gets up..." 
          Faggypants also arrived early. He said he hopes to see another movie today. 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Sequel To The Prequel - California Jail Break

       Another nice day and another nice walk in the park. As I was rounding the north-east side of the lagoon two young lipstick lesbian's were making out. I always find this aesthetically pleasing and gave them a wink as I strolled by. I continue to have back problems and so now I'm considering increasing my medicine, maybe even going back to the steroids. 
       Ruben Four Toes said he  was feeling much better. Gracie, who was bar tending,  said that the four-hundred pound one legged Mexican wanted his diminutive compadre, Alphonso, to lube his sore ass for him. Alphonso, who was sitting in the corner giggled self consciously when I turned to him for  confirmation. Ruben said he needs something to rub on his ass because he sits on it all day.
          "Yeah," I added, "and you're remarkably fat and so that's a lot of pressure on both your ass and your wheel chair."
          Gracie seems to think olive oil is the answer to Ruben's ass problems although Ruben is skeptical: "I need something that absorbs through my skin, maybe liquid vaseline."
          "No," Gracie said, "olive oil would be your best bet."
           Ruben is nervous about his  electric wheel chair which is supposed to be arriving around the middle of August. He feels that an electric wheel chair demands a lot of responsibility on his part. "What if I fall out of it or get drunk and do something stupid." As he was describing his fears the sharp piercing sound of a fire engine siren split the evening in half with its shrill echo.
        Gracie was intrigued with the prospect of Ruben trying to navigate the mile from his apartment to the bar in an electric wheel chair. 
          Ruben also was intrigued by the prospect, "I would only need the Pace to take me home , then."
        "Yes," Gracie nodded, "and you wouldn't need Street Jimmy to push you outside for your piss runs."
         When the discussion finally ended about the state of Ruben's ass cheeks Gracie pointed at her ingenious method of catching fruit flies. She has two small glasses filled with wine and she insists hundreds drown in the wine each day. Hopefully it works because a large army of fruit flies have been assembling for the last couple of weeks.
         The subject of fruit flies seemed to bore Ruben and so he described his breakfast which consisted of something called purina as well as pancakes and salami. He said as a concession to his "diet" he uses "light" pancake syrup. He added that he's had several good "poops" and so he's feeling much better. His remaining leg does not, however, look  well - in fact it looks quite bad. When I told him about Touhy's problem with a catheter Ruben was reminded of his ordeal when the gorgeous African nurse fucked up his catheter at the nursing home and he had to be rushed to the emergency room.
         "She may have been a lousy nurse , but she was sure hot."
         "I told them not to have her fuck with me ever again."
          "You have to have some compassion for her, here she is, gorgeous, intelligent, she comes to the US to follow her dream and they tell her that she not only has to find your invisible dick, but stick a catheter in it. "
         "Fuck her."
          "I would love to."
           Victor is still entertaining his family so things are much mellower in the corner. We are all hoping the wife moves to Chicago so we don't have to see Victor anymore.
            When D-Train got off work Gracie enticed him into having a new alcoholic Twisted Tea that the Sam Adams rep dropped off. Lee, who was sitting next to me, loves it. D-Train accepted Gracie's offer of a free sample and said he found it refreshing. When Gracie told him it was only three-seventy-five as opposed to his normal five dollar glass of wine he said he liked it even more. Unfortunately a few minutes later Gracie said she'd misspoken and it was actually five-dollars. Upon hearing that D-Train said he thought he'd stick to wine. "I'm a wino - so I should drink wine, right."
         "Yes," I agreed, "the bottom would fall out of the wine market if you switched beverages."
          Ruben likes the Twisted Tea camouflage hat that Gracie gave him. 
           I could see Street Jimmy through the window. His purposeful walk was on full display when he crossed the street. He was a man on a mission and his mission was scrounging together enough money for a hit of crack. Gracie said that Jimmy likes the new ice tea, " the rep said they market it mainly to places like Seven-Eleven's , it's kind of a hillbilly drink. " Lee didn't seem the least bit offended about this marketing generalization. 
          When Hawkeye reported for duty we discussed my manuscript. He's editing it and he says it's slow going. The sooner I get it back from him the better. He said he'd come over to my place today and format my sequel to the prequel so I can commence work on it. I told him I'm excited about the sequel to the prequel because during my late afternoon walk I figured out a perfect way to start the first chapter. "I now have the first chapter figured out and the last chapter. That's huge. It's going to be more free form than the prequel."
           Hawkeye still doesn't seem to realize the honor I've bestowed upon him by letting him be the first person to read my eventual history making "Portrait of The Genius as a Young Man." He does, however, think I should spend more time in my prequel describing my feats of genius. Perhaps he's right, but I think I don't need to gild the lily.

         *

         This morning Street Jimmy was waiting for me in front of the bar. He seems to have lost touch with time as well as the days of the week. Just in the last year I've noticed an intellectual deterioration. He said he's been sleeping on a bench in the park behind the Historical Society, "an I been sleepin' good".
         When Buzz Kill came in, and after we finished discussing the mess in Ukraine as well as the even bigger mess in Gaza, he told me that I needed an editor for my blog, "there are a lot of fuck-ups..."
        "Yeah, but I re-edit at night when I go home and usually I get everything fixed before I go to bed. The first thousand people who read it are getting the rough version. I'm too intellectually spent by the time I finish my blog to do much editing." 
           Jimmy was delighted when Faggypants told him he'd brought food for him. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

The Old Guys Are Wearing Down

                     
          I executed my normal walk without incident until the last block when my back started to hurt again. The weather has been perfect for walking. Before I went home I stopped by the bar. There was a decent crowd and while I was chatting with Ruben Four Toes Mitt and Lynn stopped by for a minute. They were on their way to Coach's for a get together. Mitt was carrying two outdoor chairs. After I returned to the condo I worked on some of the re-writes I'm planning for Portrait of the Genius when I get the edited copy back from Hawkeye. 
       I went back to the bar around seven and was told that Ruben had to make a hasty exit. He's been having poop issues of late and so  instead of waiting for his Pace van Gracie said  he was worried that the tiny Alphonso wouldn't be able to push his wheel chair all the way to MacDonald's and called a handicapped accessible cab. His poop problems are a disturbing trend and Gracie promised to discuss it with him. Unfortunately Gracie has reverted back to her surly ways; we all had high hopes that her six months of doing corporate might have made her appreciate how good she has it at the Ale House but apparently whatever she learned has worn off. It's a shame but her mothers is seldom around anymore and there's not much I can do about it.
       Naomi came in with Grasshopper. She said that Grasshopper and her saw "Life Itself" Thursday and thought it was excellent. The only criticism the movie has received from anyone I know was from Ranalli who thought some of the Roger footage was too tough for him to handle. 
       Touhy made his first Ale House appearance since his knee replacement surgery. He was accompanied by a very stoic Miss Jones. The only way I knew that something was going on with Touhy was because Frenchy called and told me Touhy's eightieth birthday bash at the Billy Goat on Ogden Avenue had been called off because he was going to have a hip replacement. As it turns out Touhy had a knee replacement and it has obviously not gone well given how bad he's presently hobbling. For an old guy Touhy used to do a lot of walking but those days seem to have come to an abrupt halt. Not only is he hobbling but he said the surgery turned into a complete disaster because of some fuck up with the anesthesia. 
         "When I came out of it they had me on a catheter and then after they took it out I couldn't pee and so I ended up wearing it for almost two months and I couldn't shit either and if it wasn't for Miss Jones I don't know how I would have survived."
         Normally Miss Jones has a beatific smile on her face but not so last night - it was more of a forced,  self generated smile. Nursing Touhy has clearly taken its toll on her. Touhy, generally a stickler for his personal appearance, last night looked like an untidy, shambling old-man with an aura of defeat, confusion and general inefficiency hovering over him. 
         When I told him that his late wife Mikes bastard son Joe had been in the day before with some of Mikes in laws he seemed puzzled. After the third time I explained to him that one of the people was his former brother in law, Paul, his kids along with Joe, and Joe's son he looked at me like a petulant two-year old brat that wore eye-glasses. No matter how he focused he couldn't seem to differentiate between what constituted a cousin and an uncle. Miss Jones seemed flustered by his general inability to concentrate, puerile vanities, ungoverned appetites and out of control ego and I noticed a tear or two hovering in the corners of her eyes. 
         Touhy is an esteemed bar room character, although not a man of great achievement and I hope he overcomes his medical problems not just for his sake but for Miss Jones' sake.
           Mike, one of our bartenders, called and told me he broke his foot hopping a fence with flip flops on. It's an outside bone and he won't know the extent of his injury until he sees a specialist on Monday. A foot injury for a bartender is a bad thing and so the other night bartenders and Elvis are going to have to step up to the plate until Mike's ready to go again.
         Hawkeye described how tedious and brutal the editing of my magnificent manuscript has been on him when he reported for duty. When I suggested that he slow down he shook his head with determination and said, "I don't mind it. In fact I'm enjoying it." 

         *

          Although I got to the bar early Tobin and Street Jimmy were already at work. When Faggypants showed up he was his former exuberant self. He said he saw "Life Itself" and it was terrific." He then went on to say the special effects were fantastic because the movie managed against impossible odds to make me look great. He laughed inordinately at his witticism. "I think it should win the Academy Award for best documentary. And after I saw it I snuck into the movie about the kid that they kept filming over many years. It's the best movie I've seen all year. I went to Trader Joes before the movie and got some snacks and a small bottle of wine and had an absolutely wonderful day."
           Butkovich got a call while he was fixing our mens room toilet from Mona. His pit bull died and he was obviously saddened. He's now down to six dogs. All of his dogs had been abandoned at the deserted steel mill grounds not far from his house and he's taken them in one at a time over the years. He's obviously become very attached to them and so it was with an air of resignation that he told us he was going  home and bury his dog.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Ted Williams Said If Women Didn't Have Pussy's There'd Be A Bounty On Them

             I just watched Rory McElroy win the British Open. I say British Open knowing full well that the Limey purists insist that it be called the Open. Well, all I have to say is fuck them, because it's the British Open. McElroy has an amazing swing. He's not a big guy and he hits it a ton. I don't think there's any doubt that he has a better swing than Tiger and so it will be interesting to see how the kid does in the coming years. Three majors at his young age is quite impressive. He made a lot of career errors after winning his first major: firing his top-notch agent, and worst of all, changing  equipment. And of course pussy problems grabbed him by the nuts and threw him off kilter for awhile. It seems like pussy problems are something most great athletes go through, Nicklaus being the only exception I can think of. Sam Sneed , as his nephew J.C.  once said, "would fuck the crack of dawn if he woke up early enough." Arnold Palmer was another pussy obsessed golfer. I love the story about Palmer playing in a tournament in Florida: he was sitting at the bar of the country club with a not very attractive women and when the women he was with went to the ladies room a couple of the other pros asked him if the women in question wasn't a little on the homely side? Palmer answered, "if you want to fuck them all you have to fuck the ugly ones too." (Jeff, at the Billy Goat said an old-time Florida bartender told him this story.)
        Muhammed Ali's first wife was supposed to be a devout Black Muslim. The day after their marriage she took off all the ugly Muslim clothing and started dressing hot. She took Ali for a nice bundle. Willy Mays first wife was older than Willy, who was a country bumpkin, and it took him his first five-year Major League salaries to pay her off. Tiger Woods has never been the same since his Swedish blond wife bashed him in the mouth with a five-iron, so it's not surprising that Rory had to go through some kind of emotional mess with his previous girlfriend. Whether he can handle the pressure he will now be facing  remains to be seen. 
         Tiger Woods has never been a good driver. He's always been obsessed with length and that's his Achilles heel. I thought as he matured he'd wise up  but he hasn't. Of all the great, great golfers he's without a doubt the worst driver. He made up for this flaw with his tenacity, and ability to play under pressure. He's right up there with Hogan and Nicklaus when it comes to the mental part of the game. If he ever learns how to drive he just might make a comeback. 

       *

         Early yesterday afternoon hunger once again drove the Genius from his lair. I stopped off at the bar to dig up a copy of Cavity Search to give to Mierka to give to Michael Shannon. When I walked in the door Mike Touhy's bastard son Joe was sitting in the window with a bunch of Mike's relatives. Joe's son was there along with Mike's brother in law, his daughter and his wife. Mikes brother in law is a labor writer and they live in Minnestota. I told a few mild Mike stories and then left. I would have talked to them longer but I didn't want to intrude as it was the first time Joe had gotten to meet these relatives.
            Because it was warmer I went to Topo and sat in the shade. I had a lovely Pacific Coast Salmon. The wine the waiter recommended was the best I have encountered since switching from beer and I  wish I had written it down. My people watching wasn't quite as exciting as the previous day, however, that might have been because it was earlier . When I'd walked down Wells Street there was a guy handing out free haircut cards to the Sports Cuts which is a new haircut place down the block. I took one because I knew that Faggypants liked the place. While I was dining Street Jimmy came sauntering by. When he saw me he smiled and held up his free haircut card, "I'm gonna get me a free haircut."
          "Don't get it cut too short because your head small, just get it shaped."
          "Okay."
            I'm sure the guy that gave Jimmy the free haircut card will get a talking to.
            The Artist came out of the restaurant but didn't see me. She may have lost a little weight but it's hard to tell. Ten minutes later her boyfriend, Sleepy John, appeared. He did notice me and we exchanged hellos. 
             When I went in Topo to use the restroom they were playing Sinatra's "Chicago, My Kind Of Town." To me hell would be Sinatra singing this song. My hatred for Sinatra seems to  grow by the hour. I hate his voice, and I hate the words to that song, and I hate the phony way he sings. Had I ever had the opportunity I would have gladly  tossed a hand grenade down his ginzo throat. 
             There were three Old Town sight-seeing groups that I observed in just the time I was eating. One of the docents practically burst out in a song and dance number while describing the wonders of Spice Shop which is next door to Topo. My guess is she's a theater student. 
           After I ate I started out on my routine walk. I had to abort it halfway because of an excruciating pain in my back. Whether the pain is a result of my vine removal activities or hitting golf balls for an hour, or a combination of both, this is clearly not acceptable. If I am forced to never hit another golf ball I will do so in order to get rid of this back pain. 
              Street Jimmy seemed pleased with his new haircut. When I asked him if he tipped the barber he shook his head, "no, it was free."
          "Shame on you, you're supposed to tip your barber."
            "Not if it be free."

Saturday, July 19, 2014

A Star Is Born

        Yesterday hunger drove me from the condo at around four in the afternoon. As I headed for Wells Street and food I stopped by the Ale House only to find myself confronted by the imposing figure of Chief. Fortunately he wasn't yet feeling the effects of too much fire-water. When I told him that he was going to have to moderate his behavior because two nice looking chicks complained to me about him the last time he was in he accused me of lying. He was wearing a T-shirt with a picture of an Indian in full headdress emblazoned on the front, and instead of his traditional hair style, which he previously wore shoulder length, Tonto style, he had a buzz cut. This definitely altered his appearance.
         "Chief, what did you do to your hair?"
        "I decided to cut it, why,  you don't like it?"
         "It's not you, I thought Blue Velvet cut your hair?"
         "He won't answer my calls anymore."
          With his hair cut I could discern some more scars around his forehead. It's hard to imagine the amount of serious trauma he's received over the years. He had a major motorcycle accident a few years ago and now his one eye looks like he borrowed it from a dead mole which is why he always wears shades. He claims the cops in the Dells destroyed much of his hearing by breaking his ear drums with billy clubs ten years ago. This has the dual effect of making it hard for him to hear, but also to talk at a volume that is highly offensive to most sentient creatures. 
           The reason he was in the bar was because his squaw and Little Thunder were visiting her relatives in Boston. He said that he'd been to Burton Place, but that A.M. was serving Clown shots and when Mrs. Clown announced she was leaving he didn't want to get stuck babysitting Clown. 
           "Chief, why would A.M. serve him shots. Is she completely brainless? We would never serve you shots!"
            "It's fucked up, that's for sure."
             Ruben Four Toes, with his fingers interlocked and folded over his massive stomach,  listened patiently to our conversation. He was obviously preparing himself for the onslaught of Chiefs stream of conscious rantings that was about to be directed at him as soon as I left. Anya stared at Chief as the magnitude of the situation communicated itself to her; being stuck with Chief for a couple of hours was clearly not something she was looking forward to.
          The sun was shining on the East side of the street so instead of dining at Topo I thought I'd go to Bistro Margot and sit outside as it was still early, however, as I walked by Kamahachi I said what the fuck, I haven't eaten there in a long time so I grabbed a table in the sun facing Wells Street. This was a good decision and as I ate my white fish ceviche, and my Kamahachi salad along with red wine, I did some serious people watching. Unfortunately the first person that recognized me was Chief: he was on his way to Burton to get Ruben a double cheeseburger. When he threatened to sit down and join me I reminded him how disappointed Ruben would be if he didn't bring back the cheeseburger. Before he left Chief said that he had applied for a concealed gun permit, "I'm not a felon, so why shouldn't I get one. As soon as I get my permit I'm going to apply for medical marijuana."
         "What do you need a gun for?"
          "I've had guns since I was a kid. I never shot no one, so what's the big deal?"
         The next person to walk by was Mierka. She was on her way to the Red Orchid Theater. "Bruce , you need to come and see the show. It's really good, the kids are great."
           "What time?"
            "Seven-thirty."
              "Okay, but I want you to give my Cavity Search script to Michael Shannon, he'd be a perfect Blago."
             "Give it to me and I'll see that he gets it."
             The next person to recognize me was Gus. He seemed old and alone and wore a forlorn look on his unhappy face. My tranquility was disrupted for fifteen minutes when a diesel delivery truck parked across the street with the engine running. Mike Shannon was the next person I knew that walked by. After he took his head phones off I told him I was going to the theater that night and then mentioned Cavity Search. He said he'd heard about it and would check the script out. Mikes face was curiously contorted,  whether it was from anger, sadness or cynical amusement nobody but Michael could possibly know. He said he was heading for home because he had to watch the kids for a couple of hours. 
           "But Michael, you're a famous movie star, don't you have people to do that?"
            "I like to spend some time with them once in a while."
              He said this in a very arbitrary , theatrical manner as if he were auditioning for a gangster movie. Before he left Michael said he'd seen "Life Itself" and thought it was quite good.
              Becca was the next acquaintance to walk by. She seemed concerned about my health. I know she feels guilty about forsaking all of her friends at the Ale House and she should.
             A stooped shouldered guy that the media  has designated as Chicago's "society band leader," walked by. I've always found this designation laughable because Chicago doesn't have anything remotely resembling "society" , high or low. We have celebrities but nobody ever accused the Swifts , the Armor's, the McCormicks or any of the other Robber Barons of having any class. High society would never work in Chicago. Can you imagine a Chicagoan pronouncing Florida - Florider like the asshole Kennedy's, or speaking with "Long Island lockjaw." Chicagoans would laugh them out of town. 
           After I finished dining I set out on my walk. As I walked past Burton Place Coach, Lynn and Officer Bill were sitting at an outside table. I chatted for a few minutes and then did a reverse circle of  my usual walk. When I got back to the bar Chief was still there. Before he left Chief told me not to worry about my health, "the Great Spirit will see you through this."
           "Yeah, fuck the Great Spirit up the ass."
            Chief insisted on a great deal of kissing before he finally exited. The last I saw him he was walking west with Street Jimmy. They make quite a pair given that Chief is twice Jimmy size.
            A couple of local actors were  sitting around the corner from Ruben and me. It turns out they're both Facebook friends of mine. There names were Brian and H.B. When it came time to go to the play H.B. said he was also going to the play and walked over  to the theater with me.
           I loved the play, it was written and directed by Susan Bowen in collaboration with the A Red Orchid Theater Youth Ensemble. All the kids stood out and there was a special bonus: a couple of the ensemble members had parts, one a world famous movies star. Mierka played the semi-hippie mom (she brought a great deal of experience to this role) and was typically great. I was wowed by Stella Rothenberg who played M. I saw Malkovich and Laura Metcalf in their first Steppenwolf performances in Chicago back in the seventies at the old Hull House theater on Broadway and remember telling people that I had just seen two future major stars. I feel the same way about Stella. 
           The writing was hilarious and the show is only ten bucks. It has a very limited run and so I would urge anyone in the area to make every effort to go see it.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Hawkeye Robs Handicapped Persons Newspaper

           I had planned on spending yesterday cerebrally. Unfortunately things did not go as planned. Dax brought his forty-foot ladder over to the condo to tear down the beautiful ivy on the north wall of the building. This was necessary because of some badly needed tuck pointing. According to our savvy next door neighbor the cheap "half block" used on this wall is porous shit. Just helping Dax carry his extremely heavy ladder was tough for the Genius. I don't know how strong the average 74 year-old is supposed to be, but I do know that just in the last few months I've lost strength. After helping Dax get the ladder positioned I thought I could return to my scholarly pursuits. (If you had stuck a gun in my ear I would not have climbed ten feet on that ladder let alone forty feet.) Unfortunately, after a couple of hours of fighting with the ivy vines Dax told me that there was no way he would have enough energy to cut and bag the jungle of vines he tore down and asked me if there was any possibility of locating Street Jimmy to help?
            Still hoping to avoid anymore physical labor I set out looking for the crack-smoking, panhandling, all around nuisance. As luck would have it a few minutes after I checked out his crack dealer and Sedgwick Street I turned around the corner of North Avenue and who should I see bounding down the sidewalk but Street Jimmy. He stepped up his pace when he saw me motioning at him. "Jimmy, I have a job for you. I'm glad I caught you before you got to your crack dealers."
          "How you know where I be going."
           "I'm psychic."
            On the way to the condo I explained to Jimmy the job at hand. Alas, after just a few minutes I realized that I could not under any circumstances leave the intellectually as well as drug impaired scamp unsupervised so in spite of my fondest hopes and desires, there I was helping Jimmy move a small mountain of tangled vines through the garage, and then cutting them up and putting them in garbage cans and bags in the alley. Jimmy was not adept at cutting and so I had to assume that duty. Several times when Jimmy moved his hands inexplicably I almost snipped one of his fingers off. "Jimmy, you dumb fuck, see how sharp these things are. Keep your hands away or we'll be calling you Street Jimmy Nine Fingers." 
           We had to "borrow " some  neighbors garbage cans to dump the vines in, but surprisingly  we managed to not make too much of a mess in the alley. Jimmy at 54 is still remarkably agile. A dozen or so times he jumped up on top of a garbage cans and stomped down the vines for more loads. I told him my garbage can jumping days are a thing of the past and praised him longer than was necessary . Of course he had to bum cigarettes from Dax. "I needs a smoke when I be workin' hard." Just two years ago I could have done this for eight hours without a problem, now I was completely beat to hell after just a couple of hours. After Jimmy helped Dax load his ladder onto the roof of Butkovich's old van I gave him a cold glass of water and thirty-five dollars. The crack dealer is only a block from my condo and there was no mistaking where he was heading with a smile on his face and money in his hand.
           I had to lay down for an hour. Fortunately the British Open is being played so I amused myself watching it.
         I was in luck when I went to the Ale House. Thursdays Coach always brings Street Jimmy chicken wings from Burton Place. Tobin hasn't been leaving food around lately therefore I was hungry. Because Jimmy was presently in crack heaven I decided to help him eat his wings. One wing led to another and suddenly I had eaten all of Jimmy's wings and most of his onion rings as well. I'll have to buy Coach a couple of cocktails the next time he comes in. After  I confessed to Jimmy what I had done I paused , perhaps expecting some indication of emotion;  not observing any I added, "they were really delicious, I think you should thank Coach." 
          If there was any disappointment on his face it was reminiscent of a member of the squirrel family trying to figure out how to attack a secure bird feeder. 
           When Jimmy told Ruben Four Toes about working for me he said, "I really throwed down. Worked my ass off..."
         "Oh, " I interjected, " I was working right along side you so I guess you could say I throwed down too."
          Jimmy cocked his head to the side and looked at me much like a child does when he thinks he's being lied to and then said, "I think I worked harder."
            "Really, and what did you do that I didn't do?"
            "I jumped on the garbage cans."
             "Yeah, and I filched them."
             "True."
              Ruben said that Hawkeye stole his Tribune yesterday from the back of his wheel chair.
              "I'll certainly punish him if what you say is true."
               This prompted Anja to say that that should be the title of todays blog, "Hawkeye robs handicapped persons newspaper."
                It is a good title, however, as I pointed out to Ruben, the newspaper in question is my newspaper. Ruben treated what I said as an obvious joke and laughed with much good humor.
           Hawkeye told me that after reading the rough draft of Portrait of The Genius As a Young Man he thinks he finally understands me.
            The Defense Attorney and The Inventor stopped by and she insisted I stay and talk to her. She thinks I should go to Scotland with Hawkeye in August. I think it would be great, however, my health issues seem to trump my wanderlust at the moment. I did promise her I'd give it more thought. 
            I couldn't keep my eyes open midway through John Stuarts show because of my exhausting day.

            *

         I woke up last night around two and read Faulkner's Light In August for an hour before I fell back asleep. I read it as a kid but didn't remember any of the stuff I read. When the motherfucker is good, he's really good and Faulkner was really good last night.
          Street Jimmy was waiting for me this morning from his perch next to the window in Dunkin' Donuts. He seemed in reasonably good shape considering the amount of crack he'd ingested the previous day. After he'd finished sweeping and I paid him and said my goodbyes he said, "Danny say he gonna bring me some food today."
          "Are you sure."
           "Yeah, he promised."
           When Faggyants arrived he said , "I brought him food or else my mom would have just tossed it away."
           Buzz Kill is still trying to land a bartender job. He doesn't think his body can take heavy duty carpentry anymore. I think he needs to broaden his horizons. If anybody knows of somebody who needs somebody to do something please contact me. I'll vouch for his character.
        After we finished cleaning Faggypants and I tossed my golf clubs in the car and drove to the Jackson Park Driving range. I've been avoiding this because the last time we hit balls was in early April before I started feeling the full effects or my myasthenia gravis. It was a lovely morning and we both did surprisingly well considering that this was only our second trip to the golf range all year. Unfortunately , just as I expected, I seemed to have lost thirty yards off my drives. Faggypants said the balls were lousy and I was hitting most of my drives as far as he was. I definitely want to play a round while Hawkeye's doing the editing and I have some time. After about an hour Faggypants lost interest and said he was walking over to the golf course to get a beer.
        When we first arrived about fifty young kids were hitting balls. Elmer Beard and I started the Junior Golf Program at Jackson Park back in the early 80's and it's nice to see that it's still going on. The kids left a lot of un-hit golf balls behind but I was too tired to keep hitting and went and got Faggypants.