Sunday, November 1, 2015

Skid Row Diary 45

30   November     2003     Sunday       Day 141

   I listened to subversive leftist radio this morning. The Cuban economist Oscar Espinosa Chepe discussed the Clear Skies Act. Slavery in Walmart, and the accountability of it’s executives were discussed by the lawyer James Lindsey. Ciudad Juarez by Ian masters, and the religious conservative right buying it’s way into power, and how democracy in this country is dysfunctional because people don’t vote.
   Accordingly tacos were served for lunch. I thought I saw Matthew from Pasadena at another table. He had been looking at me, turning his head when I focused on him. I wasn’t prepared to confront him at the time. When I’m sure it’s him I might.
   I bought a paper and spent the day reading it and writing.
   One half of a sliced turkey sandwich for dinner.
   Siskel and Roeper both liked “Bad Santa.”
   Although the theater I was in when I saw it was well attended, and the film well received, “Bad Santa,” did not make it to the top five grossing movies over the weekend.
   Richard didn’t like Ron Howard’s new movie, “The Missing,” which I didn’t have time to see.
   Word has it Ron was crushed.
   I made some chicken Top Ramen with extra chicken, and finished watching “Marty.” The T.V. guide from the paper told me that there was absolutely nothing worth watching for the entire week. Even “Frontline,” and “Nova,” were preempted for programs I had no interest in. For just a moment I was ashamed to own a television.
   After “Marty,” I popped a bag of corn and read the paper while listening to “The Simpsons,” “Malcolm in the Middle,” and “Arrested Development,” wherein frog torture was highlighted.
   I meditated. I couldn’t find KMZT on my radio, so listened to the other classical station that was playing the whole “Carmen,” opera. It was very nice.
   I turned on “The Impact Program,” with Frank at midnight. Jerry Rubin, the peace activist out of Santa Monica, was his guest. Frank played “Give Peace a Chance,” by John Lennon, and “My Sweet Lord,” by George Harrison, which I recorded.
   After Frank’s screener drove Jerry home, because like me he doesn’t own a car, I made a nice turkey sandwich using some garlic cheese I found at the 99 Cent Store near Macarthur Park. It’s guaranteed to deflect 87% of the vampires in your immediate vicinity if eaten regularly.
   I ate that sandwich while watching the first part of “Lord Jim,” starring Peter O’Toole, based on the book by Joseph Conrad, a book I have somewhere around here. This film has revolving villains, which is always interesting. First there was Eli Wallach and Curt Jurgens, then James Mason, Curt Jurgens, and Akim Tamiroff from “A Touch of Evil.”
   Poor Peter had quite a time dispatching all of them, but was still done in by the end... by his friends, which just goes to show it’s always something!
   I didn’t finish watching the film though. I fell asleep way before the end, and dreamt of Pattie Compton, the girl who deflowered me in my own bed when I was way younger than I am now. I don’t remember how old I was to be honest, 14 or 15 maybe. She said she loved me, but I didn’t return her love, but took advantage of her physically. She didn’t seem to mind.
   Her father once caught us in her brother’s bedroom after I had taken off her pants. I was very lucky to get out of there alive.
   We lost each other for many years, but met again at the court building in Van Nuys. I was taking care of some legal matter, and her boyfriend was in jail, but appearing in court. He remained in jail, and I went home with her an spent the night. That was the second to last time I ever saw her.
   I love her now of course. She was in fact, and is, the second greatest love of my life, and I’m so sorry if I ever caused her any pain due to my stupidity and disrespect.
   I wish her well.
   In my dream I was making love to her on the floor of her small apartment, that last time, when I looked up to see Ernest Borgnine sitting in a chair across the room, looking down on us.
   “That’s right,” he said. “I’m still here buddy. You don’t need to worry about that. And I’ll be here long enough to see you buried and long forgotten.”
   I kept on doing what I was doing.
   “I’m going... to be... cremated...” I told him.
   “Whatever.” He got up and walked out the front door.
   “Who... was that!” Pattie gasped.
   “Ernest... Borgnine.”
   “Never... mind...”

1    December     Monday          day 142

   I had left my radio on all night. When I woke at about 7:00, Mark and Brian were prattling on about something. Today was Mark’s 48th birthday, the old geezer. He probably plays golf.
   Since I was up so early I went downstairs to partake in breakfast. Boiled eggs, diced turkey with onions. I discarded the egg yokes since my cholesterol is so high and all. Yokes don’t taste good hard anyway.
   Giselle was wearing a smashing black skirt split on both sides, with a red embroidered top.
   I took a walk up to Skid Row Housing Trust Tenant Services to remind them I had an application there. After the receptionist made sure to take care of everyone who had arrived after me, I was given two forms to have filled out by my case manager and my doctor.
   I returned to the Weingart and wrote a letter to John Manzano, in which I essentially invited myself up to his mom’s house, where he was staying, for Christmas. I also tried to see Ken Johnson, my new case manager, but he was going to lunch. Another time perhaps.
   Two insipid hot dogs for my lunch, without benefit of condiments. I gave Kathy some fresh and pungent urine after the ASAP meeting. I also asked her to write a letter for me that I could take to City Hall to get a street merchants license. She said she’d look into it.
   I checked my mail and visited the library. I finished watching “Lord Jim,” after it got dark.
   Much later I accidentally watched an episode of “The Drew Carey Show,” which guest starred the actress and former Playmate of the Year, Jenny McCarthy.
   She’s not bad looking for a Playmate, and very funny. The producers of the show used her mercilessly to act out several favored male fantasies of which I’m not at liberty to discuss at the present time.
   When I went to sleep tonight I dreamt I was being held captive at a slumber party filled with attractive teenage girls in pajamas. Christa Miller of “The Drew Carey Show,” was practicing how to kiss with Kirsty Waay, the beautiful and talented star of “The Girl Next Door,” “Blindfold,” “The Tongue,” and many other fine films, when my friend’s mom came in, Jenny McCarthy.
   She watched the girls work me over pretty good, then said, “That’s not how you do it, let me show you.”
   And she proceeded to show them.

2    December      Tuesday        Day 143

   “Of course, if I had a choice, which I dinna, because their is only one God... I’d prefer a Chinese God. They do not want their devotees to slaughter other Gods, or dead all people who dinna kowtow. But the Christian barbarian God, who is alone and only God, seems to me, as a poor, simple woman, werry blood thirst and difficult to get along with, but of course I believe in him. There!” she had finished emphatically.
   “There nothing!”
   “I think your Heaven is one hell of a strange place, Tai-Pan. Everyone flying around like birds, and everyone with beards. Do you make love in Heaven?”
   “I denna kin.”
    “If we canna make love, I’m not going to your Heaven. Oh no, absolutely. True God or no true God. That would be a werry bad place. I must find out before go there. Yes, indeed. And another thing, Tai-Pan. Wat for the only true God, who is therefore fantastical clever, say only one wife, heya, which is terrifical stupid? And if you are Christian, wat are we as husband and wife when you already got wife? Adulteratiousness, eh? Werry bad. Wat for you break so many of the Ten Commandments, heya, yet still werry all right call yourself Christian?”  -Conversation between Dirk Struan and his mistress May-May, in James Clavell’s “Tai-Pan” 1966

   I got up late and had to rush around for the rest of the day because of it. I had a computer reserved at the library for noon, and had an hour and a half to pick up my GR check and food stamps.
   I used $4.00 in food stamps at the 99 Cent Store, and made it to the library with ten minutes to spare.
   I printed out a page from Odalys’ website. Today I would spend one third of my available income to become an official member of her fan club. I would have done this eventually, but wanted to do it now in the hopes of getting some info on her current health and wellbeing. Odaga Corp. doesn’t seem to want to talk to me otherwise. Odalys comes before joining Amnesty International or The Planetary Society.
   Oh the pangs of a trembling and lovelorn heart that prompts me to such arduous extremes.
   I’m certain that if Odalys herself knew I was looking for her in order to ascertain her physical condition following her car accident she would contact me right away. I’m positive it is the over protective, evil minions of Odaga Corp. who are keeping us apart.
   I bought a money order for $164 to give to Johnson, not realizing that DPSS had screwed me once again for $23, giving me $198 instead of the $221 I was entitled too.
   Well, we’ll see about that!
   75% of 198 is only 149, so I had deposited $15 into my Weingart account than was required of me. No matter. I’ll get it all back soon enough.
   I stopped at the indoor mall at 6th and L.A. and bought VCR tapes of “Solaris” (last years version) and “The Ring,” for $14. There were a couple of other tapes that I was interested in, but those will have to wait.
   One must be economically viable.
   And thrifty.
   A note was quietly waiting for me in my box when I returned to the Weingart. I now had an appointment to meet with Kenny at 8:30 Thursday morning. I can’t wait.
   I busied myself by writing in the afternoon. The only thing on T.V. this week that was half way interesting, besides “That ‘70s Show,” was the premier of a new reality program on Fox. “The Simple Life,” in which Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie (Hilton Hotel heiress, and daughter of Lionel Richie), two spoiled rich kids, agreed to live and work on a farm in Arkansas for 31 days, without cell phones, money, or credit cards.
   I don’t know how wealthy Lionel Richie is, but Paris is worth millions. Neither girl has held a job, or worked, for that matter. It was quite amusing watching them try and adjust to one bathroom, bugs, and milking cows.
   I have nothing against these girls, but they have no existence other than the money their parents have provided for them. Or at least that’s my impression. I condemn their parents for allowing them to grow up without learning the skills necessary to become self reliant and productive... like me.
   I meditated, and read from Clavell’s “Tai-Pan,” before going to sleep.
   I dreamt I was on a farm in Arkansas along with the beautiful and talented former Miss Chicago of 1948, Lois Nettleton, who became an actress and starred in “Echoes of a Summer,” “The Man in the Glass Booth,” “The Love Boat,” and about a million other fine films and television shows, and Alecia Beth Moore, who some know as the singer, song writer, Pink. We were participants in a new reality show entitled “City Slickers in Hell.” We were to spend the next 31 days in the farm doing what farm people did without any cell phones, money, or credit cards. We were all wearing overalls and were busy slopping the pigs when Gauge, the beautiful and talented star of “Double Parked,” “Calamity,” the immortal “Psycho Pussy,” and many other fine films, came up to the muddy pen we were working in. She was actually from Arkansas, and would be our boss for the next month.
   “Alright you city slickers,” she said. “That’s enough for them old hogs. We don’t want them getting to fat now do we?”
   “I’thought that was the whole point in...” I started to say.
   “Shut your mouth boy!” Gauge quipped. “I don’t need no back talk from you.” She looked at the two girls. “Lois, Pink, your suppers ready. Go on and get some before it gets cold.”
   The girls took off.
   “Hey,” I said. “What about me. I’m hungry too.”
   “Shut up boy! I still got some work for you that needs a doing. Did you clean out the barn like I told you to?”
   “Yes Ma’am. And I milked the cow. Got a whole bucket full. I didn’t know milk tastes so good when it’s warm.”
   “Milked the cow?” She said, thinking. “We don’t got no cow. You mean our bull, Zaccaria? How could you have...”
   I felt sick. “Never mind,” I said.*
   I then told her I couldn’t take farm life anymore, and ran off into the hills and pastures to the north, never to be seen again.
   Some say I’m dead, and that my spirit roams the countryside, and can sometimes be heard, screaming in the night.

3   December    Wednesday     Day 144

   I was up at 7:30, to keep my appointment with Dr Perry, of Downtown Mental Health. I need him to fill out the doctor’s form for the housing trust, to truly prove to them what a sick bastard I am. I also wanted to discuss a possible decrease in the medication that was being prescribed to me. I wasn’t taking any of the medication, but I wanted it officially documented that I was taking less of it for some reason. I don’t know why. It really doesn’t matter I guess.
   I never got a chance to talk to him because he didn’t show up. The appointment was for 8:00 as I’ve stated. I sat in the crowded waiting room with the other drooling loonatics until 9:25 before I asked the receptionist what was up.
   “He’s not here yet,” she told me. No apologies. No offer to let me see someone else. No explanation. He just wasn’t there. He was supposed to be there, but he wasn’t. She wouldn’t have minded at all if I simply sat back down and waited 4 or 5 more hours. I once actually sat in this lobby for 6 hours waiting to see a case manager who hadn’t been informed I was waiting to see her. It was only when the staff was getting ready to leave for the day that they noticed I was still there, at which point I was attended to.
   What a bunch of douches.
   Unfortunately today I had other plans that did not include sitting around for an unspecified amount of time for a doctor who had missed his appointment. I tried to see my case manager Anthony, but when I got tired of waiting for him, I took off and went to the movies.
   This ended my association with the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health.
   I returned to the Weingart and popped a bag of corn and made myself a pig foot and beet sandwich, then headed off to Citywalk.
   I watched “Bad Santa,” again, laughing just as much as I had the first time. Then I accidentally walked into the theater showing Ron Howard’s new film, “The Missing.” I was so tired at this point from laughing that I had to sit down for awhile.
   Want to know how to piss off Ron Howard, besides calling him Opie? Tell him “The Missing,” is kind of like John Ford’s “The Searchers,” arguably the greatest western ever made (I have a weird feeling that the American Film Institute will in a few years declare it just that, the greatest western ever made... we shall see), even though it wasn’t nominated for any Academy Awards. It was certainly John Wayne’s best character and performance, way better than that silly “True Grit,” thing.
   “The Missing,” is a good movie, and I’m glad I saw it. And it really isn’t very much like “The Searchers,” the only similarity  being the kidnaping of a young girl by Indians, and her eventual rescue by her family members. Other than the basic plot of the entire film the two movies aren’t alike at all. “The Missing,” was shot in color, and “The Searchers,” well it was in color too, Technicolor VistaVision (in color with high resolution) in fact.
   Two men spent years looking for poor, abducted Natalie Wood in “The Searchers,” one of them holding a deep, unrelenting hatred for Indians. A man and a woman and her little girl spent a week looking for Evan Rachel Wood, with the man wanting to be an Indian. That’s certainly different.
   However, in both films the kidnaped females were saved, which I have to admit is a striking similarity.
   Oh yeah, in “The Missing,” there is one particularly nasty villain, a male Indian witch (and pretty much everyone knows how vicious those assholes can be, just ask Carlos Castaneda), and poor Tommy Lee Jones dies while killing him.
   Good old John Wayne didn’t die in “The Searchers,” and in that movie the whole Indian nation was the enemy (they resented white people stealing their land from them and acted in a disagreeable manner), not just the witches.
   As I said I liked the film, although I can see why Roger Ebert didn’t. There was a mystical element in it that was both distracting and unnecessary. Tommy Lee continues to play the same enigmatic character he’s played in a zillion other movies (in almost every film I’ve seen him in he has at least one scene in which he detects another’s presence, acknowledges them, has a complete conversation without looking in the other’s direction), and he seems especially tired in this movie, and the girl hostages had an annoying tendency to sabotage their own rescues.
   But “The Missing,” was entertaining, and the beautiful and talented Cate Blanchett starred in it, one of the best actresses working today.
   I had a nice Tommy’s Cheese burger after leaving the theater. Then a slice of pepperoni pizza when I got back downtown.
   I was very hungry.
   I watched the second installment of “The Simple Life,” in which Paris and Nicole get fired on their first day at work in a dairy farm.
   I have just one criticism concerning the structure of this show, and that is that the girls are perfectly aware they will only by doing this for 31 days, and thus don’t really take it seriously, so this program turns into a half hour of the ladies just mucking about.
   My interest is wanning.
   I meditated, then watched Steven Soderbergh’s version of “Solaris,” the third film adaptation of Stanisław Lem’s novel.
   It was released last December, and was the last film John Manzano and I went to see together. At that time I was living at the Cecil Hotel in full blown relapse mode.
   “Solaris,” is an interesting film. An unusual science fiction movie concerning an planet sized astronomical object that seems to be sentient, and which has the ability to create facsimile humans, or a  physical human simulacra, from the memories of those sent to study it, the purpose being to mess with their minds.
   Or not. Who knows the true intention of Solaris. I certainly don’t.
    I read from “Tai-Pan,” before retiring, and dreamt I was on the space station anchored over Solaris. I was sleeping in my dream, and while I was sleeping the entity that was Solaris took my memories of Cate Blanchett from my mind, and created her double for me.
   She was wearing a red dress, so I got up and put on a CD of Ten Years After’s “One of These Days,” to which we danced the simulated night away.  

*Thanks to Barry Fanaro and Mort Nathan for the bull joke

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