Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Barton Fink-ness of Decomposing In A Shabby Veterans' Flophouse


If a multiplicity of relationships is an avenue of growth, I must be eight lanes wide and ten foot tall by now.

Have you ever heard the sound of a nation being rocked to sleep?
---Carly Sheehan

I have slipped into neutral again. I'm drinking can after can after can of ca phe sua with no results. Just can't get back into gear here in my shabby homeless veterans dorm room that the ungrateful nation of America has begrudgingly rented to me..

If you've seen "Barton Fink", you know where I am. I'm at the scene where Barton is sitting at his typewriter, a blank sheet of paper in the roll, staring at the peeling wallpaper on his cheap motel room walls (much akin to this dump's nicotine-stained sheetrock), watching the wallpaper peel and being able to do nothing about the blank sheet of paper waiting to be typed on.

This blog is nothing. Skip it. There's no story here. No Jarvisonian perspective of the Felini-esque, no Jolietharian verve. Just the Barton Finkness of decomposing in an Inglewood veterans' flophouse.

The crowd is here . . . all my flophouse brethren. Get back to you later.

It's six hours later now than when the crowd came in to my room and discombobulated my thinking / writing process. I was almost there. ALMOST. It's like being almost asleep in that fuzzy twilight place and some motherfucker snatches you awake by standing over your bed and asking, "You awake?"

That's not hyperbole. That happens to me here. A lot. At a shabby veterans' flophouse, there's no breakers between oneself and all the flotsom and jetsom. You just have to let the trash wash over you and rinse out your brain later.

I was trying to catch a wave (writing is like surfing: you swim out [start typing nothing about nothing], wait . . . . . . and when you feel the ocean swell, you ride that bad boy all the way in to the beach if you can) when Dopey, Stinky and Shaky came into my room, bringing their three-ring circus of emotions, noises and needs into my one-ring homeless shelter room of toe-stubbing clutter.

Dopey wants to play his geetahr, have me hide his thousand milligram hydrocodone painkillers from him, doling them out one at breakfast and one at bedtime "no matter how much I beg for more", and to argue with my homeless attorney (Stinky) about some ethnocentric 'hate whitey' book by Donald Goines that Stinky has brought in to my room and dropped on my dresser top like a fresh steaming dog turd on a clean dinner plate.

Stinky wants to use my phone to call his son, argue with Shaky about . . .

The wave has passed on that thought. I have to swim out and wait again.


It's six and a half hours later now than when I was typing on my laptop and then the three dwarfs came in to discombobulate me. Now I'm at WORK (as a security guard) and writing this in pen on a writing tablet I found in the dumpster.

I'm sitting here, alone in the dark apartment complex clubhouse that serves as a guard shack, sitting under a small circle of weak light from a 60-watt, two foot lamp, waiting for the next wave to come in. It might be minutes or it might be hours. I have to wait.

I write four words: "I have to wait", then walk around the apartment complex I'm security guarding. I have to wait. I'm waiting for the next wave, the one you hear in "Barton Fink" just before he stops glaring at the wallpaper and starts typing like crazy, and while I'm waiting, I'm fidgety. I hate it when I don't have a story to tell.

I was going to write about The Pie Man who has a soft spot in his head for veterans and keeps giving me boxloads of cakes and pies to pass along to the rotten bastards at the U.S. Vets homeless shelter.

Or maybe I'll write about the Asian/Arabic couple who were having sex in the Casa De Toro jacuzzi the other night at 4 a.m. until --- in my capacity as security guard --- I chased them in to a building (having no idea about the consequences of actually catching them).

Or perhaps I should write about my romantic run yesterday at the Radio Shack girl (she got so scared of my attentions she asked a local homeless loiterer nicknamed 'The Mayor' to stay in the store until closing).

And I was going to write about . . .

. . . but who the fuck cares? What a worthless enterprise this journal writing is. I make more money out of writing "Patrolled parking lots B, C, and D. Checked fitness room area. Checked pool area. All appears secure" than I ever did writing about . . . .

. . . whatever the hell it is I waste my time writing about . . . my tinseltown tales of Creepy, The Mad Turk, The Angry Haitian, The Russian, The Gypsy, The Midget Pimp, The Dragon Lady, The Arconians, Ranger Mike, Gordon The Hollywood Anarchist, The Ornamental, Stir Fry and the Day Laborers, Motel Marqainsians, Amazing Grace, Betty The Bomb, The Stem People, The Park People, The Chicken Santa, Wrongway Lettner, My Homeless Attorney, Ant, Gunrunner Mike, The New Black Dahlia, Cabbage Patch, Marie The Milk Crate Stealer . . . my, uh, my journal of the damned.

HEY! "Journal of the Damned" Not bad. It's 8 hours since I started this blog and I finally got something from the effort: Journal of the Damned. I like it. Hope nobody else has thought of it already. If so, I'll just have to call it "Offline Journal of the Damned."

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