Thursday, June 14, 2018

Welcome To The Dollhouse

Much Thanks to Galen DeKemper

The fastest way to a man's heart is through his dick hole. Deanna knew that when she snapped back audaciously that one time in the van, " . . . because I don't fuck niggardly!” 

Guns N' Roses wrote a song about Deanna, penned "My Michelle". Deanna gave me all her attention, she sat in the club seat in front of me, on her knees, her flat chest up against the back, elbows resting on the top plush—which seemed kind of uncomfortable, but she was overly into talking to me—was like that for pretty much the whole duration to Durant, every now and then turning up towards the front to flip the Slade tape, but mostly just talking to me in the back. It's like upon first meeting you, Deanna gave you everything, all her attention, a simulation of how you would imagine it would be like to be with her. It's like she was so hopped up on whatever—that combined with her curious mind, made it impossible not to be enchanted—but she was Ed's. It’s like since she was Ed’s, she was freed up to be comfortable enough to just chew the fat and it made you even more comfortable, comfortable to probably be confident enough to make a move on her no problem, but of course you couldn’t, a catch 22, like it always was. It was hard not to reciprocate the mental commitment of attention with Deanna though, and take it as far as she would allow. But then you would see her do that with the next guy she would meet along the way and you would see the cycle start again, feel slightly slighted. 

We were niggardly Ed’s, niggardly Swank’s, and Rocco’s indentured contract employees after all (well, I would have been, if I had actually gotten paid, a permanent slot on the squad). And as such, how Deanna’s imperial heart must dictate, you could tell she always had to have the one-up on Ed—like, when she was always coming onto the help in front of everyone. Deanna’s brazen locker room talk in front of Ed, who was her husband, in front of Dolls tranny team, her lothario tactic as which to presumably undercut any bit of well earned authority Ed might have accrued—you know, like how chicks do with the dude they're with all the time. That barrage of petty swipes, the too obvious go-to sexual innuendos, which she would always so marvelously volley out, also must have inadvertently kind of made new team dudes feel welcome, and perhaps too, may have also been encouraging enough to give us the extra gust of wind of sovereign confidence in our sails, as so to fling our bodies adorned in skin tight lame' pants and stoking us enough to roller-skate away successfully from proverbial Dolls brand sewer bank to ledge. 

As Deanna’s gaze of black matted lashes beset diminishing value where it should be cast, she is also the type who need never make the slightest bit of effort to have men fall in love with her. One night at the Chelsea, I left my room, and Deanna passes me in the hallway, wearing her really expensive looking Medicine Ball blue jacket made out of super wrinkled garbage bag like material, looking as if she hadn’t showered yet this season and was barefooted—Deanna was always walking around blithely barefooted—barefooted even in the gravel sodden incrusted parking lots of the demo parks we gigged at, like the white trash she was, and at that very moment, I kind of wasn’t even mentally primped to interact with her—I had fallen out of work mode, when I was in the room, so alone—and at the time I didn’t know that on tours, work mode is never to be turned off. I always had to tell myself I didn’t like Deanna, just to interact with her, which in no way really levels the playing field.

 “If I had sex enough, do you think I could lose weight?” Deanna forthrightly asks.

“ . . . maybe it depends on how you do it  . . .”  

“ A lot—like everyday . . .” Deanna answers on the beat, simultaneously indulging herself, setting me up for something, or testing me (or maybe a bit of all three).

I felt Deanna liked me enough at first though, but she was hardly a saint, you could tell she had never looked too hard at a fetus in a jar, and she never once ever saw her momma change, but I kind of naively assumed her opinion of me wouldn’t waiver, would over time only strengthen, as I feigned a certain confidence, while also well maintaining a certain unjustified cockiness I had had—I mean although, I was never on the team long enough to even so much have an actual ad or promotional lingerie lace sticker package with my name emblazoned on it, Dolls just didn’t take anyone for try outs on the road—which did mean something. Anyways, getting pro'd was like trying to be a lawyer in an industry where there where only three law firms, in a land where there were no laws. But here I was now, simultaneously low level bottom feeder hippie royalty class, but still kind of on shaky grounds with the gatekeepers (though at the time I probably wasn't fully aware of how shaky).

Like for instance, after I first got the nod from Dolls, my mom did actually go out to Windsurf & Gale, to surprise me, kind of celebrate by preemptively buying me an XL OG Thunders logo knit, like after I told her I might start getting flowed—the embroidered logo shirt, that of course no one on the team ever wore—because they were the glamorous Dolls, the most baddest assed cross dressing roller derby transvestite nonce bitches with attitude you never met, after all—and like, this lame L.A.M.F Dolls shirt my sweet mom had gotten me, was designed for kids who were down, but not hard core enough to skate and live and sacrifice, art suffer their lives actually dressed in drag, full time, all the goddamn time. And fuck, I kinda really wish Moms never did do that, as I know everyone in Calabasas scene talks, and plus I also really never did know if Ed or Deanna were ever aware of such kooky transgression I was responsible for having to own up to from my side—it did actually play a bit into me being first hand embarrassed for myself, which in the back of my mind, very well may have hindered the cool necessary for upkeep to hold up my perspective slot's end of the lip stick killers squad. I mean think about it: my mom's loving, yet wholly un-hip, vehemently un-streetwise action alone could ostensibly warrant justified resignation from Dolls during my probationary period—this, when I don't even know if the other Dolls even had mothers.

The first night of the tour, after the demo in Sag Harbor, we had a sort of kick off after party back at the motel. It was Gregor Hagelin, Joe Gruber, Nick Lockman, Bill Pepper, Mike Judd and then some kids from the demo, the park owners, the dudes from South End distro and some other various hangers-ons. The suites had connecting doors, so all five of our rooms when opened, were connected like one long corridor. Butch Butcher, and some kids were sitting around a table, swiping hand rails from a big pile on the surface. “If only Mom could see me now,” I thought to myself apprehensively—surely, she wouldn’t approve of her only son (and a desperate one at that) participating in such post gig ritual. But this was the game after all, and even though I had never got yacky, I knew this had to be the opportunity for me to get into the mix, and like fraternize with the rest of the boys in the narcotic tobacco haze. But they weren’t paying much attention to me, there was no where at the table to sit. I awkwardly butted in, lamely asking if I could get a line, and fucking Butch Butcher totally rebuffs me, me now being the recipient of his malevolence, when he says “You can have half a bump”, as if he could tell I’ve never gone sprack and they just all continued their non-inclusive, lively pepsi chatter, talking amongst themselves, mirrors getting jammed up, until I still never got offered any and I just moved away in resignation. Apparently, Deanna must have seen the scene play out, and also, she like seemed to sometimes have a strong sense of intuition, so she could have maybe sensed what was going on, grabs my arm, pulls me into the furthest room at the end, shuts the door. She hands me a tablet—I ask her what it was, and she says Mexican A, Spanish Fly. I ask what it did, she says nothing and everything, as if having said the same thing to others many times before. I swallow and we sat on the floor smoking cigarettes and talking, and it wasn’t even too long, before it kicked in abruptly. I suddenly had never felt so good in my life, but then it started to get more and more intense, too intense, until I was totally whigging out, all just whiggin' way too hard. I couldn’t hold my grasp or get my bearing, my heart was beating hard, and it was difficult to gulp the water Deanna insisted on me drinking, to help mollify the sudden intensity of the trip. It was as if the hard whigging had no where else to go, but I eventually calmed down a bit and then it all manifested in me being desperately, intensely, super stimulated and also really candid and frank about it. I told Deanna I needed time alone in the bathroom, which I said as if needing to go to the lou to puke. Deanna was cool as shit though, and it’s not like I was hitting on her or anything, I was just confiding in her in some way that seemed like the Mexican A brought on some inevitable situation which would establish a sense of trust and solidarity between us. I was in the bathroom forever, grinding my teeth, sweating profusely through my silk Adelisa lace camisole, I hear a knock, open the door, still on my knees and Deanna throws me the Penthouse mag from one of the vans and a pair of women’s underwear, shuts the door.  

But at the time, they really liked Bruiser though—I mean they just loved him, and although me and Bruiser weren’t too terribly close, Bruiser was just always pretty fucking cool to me—like, every time I saw him, say at the flat bar in front of the bar or at the reservoir at the roller park, it could have very well easily been considered like automatic, real quality bro down time. I wasn't even remotely as talented as he, despite Bruiser being perceived as some sort of slacker darling of the industry, Bruiser really could actually do anything and anything on the board he wanted, yet my look, my ensembles, my posturing took the slacker pose even further than he though, and although left unsaid, I think it really was something he very well appreciated—there was some nameless attention to detail I followed, not really seemingly paid to by anyone in the industry at the time—my dogme 95 clips seasons before Palace or Bronze or Krooked, shown in a gallery in Zurich, and of course I always strictly followed the Dolls program, religiously adhered to every Lip Stick Killers tenant (except for drugs, that is, until the tour)—I did actually dress trannied every time I rollered, at the parks, on the streets, when not skating, which to say the least, lead to a host of complications. It was even so bad, that when standing on the boulevard, with my board, waiting for pedestrians to get out of the way before I hit whatever obstacle, johns would actually stop to pull over soliciting date, assuming I was using rollering as a ruse for being rent boy. I was pretty much THE ONLY ONE, not on Dolls who wore women's clothes (or so I thought, before I was invited to Dolls demos across the country), but anyways, Bruiser knew I was just down and that was fucking awesome, and like, he really knew I was just obsessed, it really was like he went out of his way to try to get me on, which I am eternally grateful for and will never forget.

So when Bruiser told Ed, suggested me gettin' the Doll House nod (which later, I would actually, literally nod off with one of the Dolls)Ed miraculously obliged. But mostly to me, I later sensed it was Ed’s overt expression of solidarity with Bruiser, Bruiser who was the new tranny pro, which putting him on was a defiance necessary for Edward to always keep arms length from everyone who worked in the band already, Ed's way to always be kind of one step ahead of everyone. Anyways, it kinda seemed like every new Doll on the team got put on to get played against the others, as Ed's way of maintaining an instability necessary for him to reign more control over the team—playing the new guy against the older trannies, whom had probably been on long enough to accrue enough familiarity to breed contempt from Ed. Like, I know for instance, that Butcher hated Bruiser (Butch Butcher was from somewhere in Brazil, kinda not really hip enough to grasp Bruiser's fashion forward, minimal, yet substantial approach of economy aesthetic) and by default, of course Butch Butcher didn't like me neither, because I was Bruiser’s boy, wasn't even nearly as good as Bruiser. But also too, you could kinda tell that's how Butch Butcher also got on Dolls—he just seemed kinda random, too beefy jock looking, totally didn’t even seem like Dolls material at all, not hip enough to be next shit enough to be one of the first on his own to make the evolutional leap of being a normal skater dude to wearing women’s clothes eight days a week. Butch Butcher was just some agent provocateur, again, seemed like some tactical move on Ed's part, which inadvertently seemed to compromise the Dolls aesthetic for Ed's managerial convenience (typical Templeton). Butch Butcher just looked kinda lame in general, he’s the type who could make even smoking pot look barbaric—but since he was on Dolls, of course it confused people into thinking he was cool. I mean, Butch Butcher shaves his arms for Christsakes, he has these squeaky dot pores all over his brutishly ripped, stubby arms, shave burn that's uncomfortable to look at, and you can just tell Butch is kinda trying way too hard, while also simultaneously kinda missing the point. Whenever we would run into other pros, Butcher would greet them with the preface "the man, the myth, the legend"—some way of sucking up, and trying to sound current American zeitgeist with his conflicting accent, even though growing up in Latin America, he was kinda automatically operating at least twenty years behind the times. And it’s just all kinda too obvious he’s the gnar jock demographic—again, even an uncompromising brand such as Dolls, there was still a bit of pandering to its audience, still some compromise. And if you ask me, I should still be on (well, if Dolls was still around), not Butcher, but that’s not how the petifore crumbles exactly. Butcher was the stunt man demo and also there was obviously that thing reassuring about him to Edward anyways, where in contrast, I was just kinda like Eddie Sedgwick of the brand (but then again, so was Deanna), some useless new team pet, who naively assumed when I first got the nod, that it would lead to inevitable tranny tenure. 

But we were the queens of the street, we were the crazy, tough glitter girls who lived thirty six hours a day in drag (with appropriately, well selected accompanying footwear). Touring with the Dolls, was like being in a carnival without permits—instead of permits, we had tiny sacks hidden in magnetic key boxes, attached to the engine of the van. But it was always from the start, such utter torture to be on Dolls though, I kinda really had never worked so hard, gotten so stressed on anything before in my life. 

When I first got on Dolls, and possibility still seemed open, and my little flow slot on Dolls still fresh, and before they kinda turned on me, there was the one night in Tulsa, me and Ed and Deanna stayed up all night, on a week night, smoking angel dust in the hotel room, talking into the strange, disorienting and soggy, white trash Wednesday morning. Ed was uncharacteristically taking hits himself too, getting high with us, was talking about, correlating physical illness as psychic toll, a bi-product of shining high profile vocation involving mass communication. That time, I got a quick glimpse of how brilliant Ed sometimes could be. Ed was theorizing Michael J. Fox having Parkinsons was as a result of playing a person who experienced time quake hiccup, and was slotted off from experiencing subsequent split alternate reality in the mind of the world. Like, for instance, Ed commented about when Marty returned back to 1985, he was confronted by carwash Biff being uncharacteristically affable and chummy with him, this new, alternate, fictional reality of pleasant exchanges and friendliness of Biff, as opposed to the other reality Marty was used to, where Biff was always just being a total dick to him all the time—a fictionalized existential disconnect, mass perceived by billions—a mass exodus perception beam incidentally casting off onto MJF's body vessel. It’s like since people thought about the concept of him time glitching, his body picked up on this, and malfunctioned by actually believing it. Such was a sort of freakish energy mutation of artists put in extraordinary situation—to look at something is to change it, to be perceived is to be transformed. Deanna said it was the same thing as MCA getting oral cancer—MCA had regretted his early, crass Beastie Boys lyrics—MCA’s disease was predicated by words written down and flung onto an entire generation's brains by his mouth—the act mutated into super disease, which was exacerbated by Yauch's guilt, and that’s what gave MCA cancer. Eddie Van Halen got tongue cancer for constantly having a metal pic in the same place in his mouth when he played guitar. What about Morrissey getting Barrett's from singing? 

All of this info was kinda rich coming from Deanna though, considering the splash she made in the Nan Golden video. Deanna really kind of was some readymade though, a walking piece of trash art—and what a piece of work she was, some querulous Femme Fetale. There was some slick, hollow quality to the video's un-orchestrated luridness, Deanna, too coked out to fuck, her nearly impossible monologue to follow, talking something about girls—she said she likes to sniff girls' underwear when she tends to herself, which was kind of genius, because I have never once in my life ever heard of a girl doing such a thing, and you wondered how much of it was just shock value in all its presupposed earnestness, while Deanna's mascara bled down upon salty face, in the daytime, in the middle of a workday, inside a nondescript squat room, which apparently had no electricity, looked under construction, and since it was in an abandoned commercial building, there was no way to throw garbage away without carrying bags down a dozen flights, so there was communal trash everywhere, on location, somewhere in New York, somewhere in the vast canyon like skyline of the city, the city where murder ran rampant everyday, where the newspaper headlines said there ain't enough love to go around. You could read all this in the video, you could see it in Deanna’s nihilistically chic shaved eyebrows, which said you were not included, it could be read in her bony ass, Deanna's bony ass which was shrouded in girl’s cotton panties and which promised nothing. You also caught a glimpse of her shriveled, wilted junk, shockingly, uncharacteristically with grey hairs, which looked like it very well could have been that of an old woman’s. Deanna was always too junk sick to demo for fashion week and controversy could only further catapult her accelerating ascendancy; Deanna was not Leticia Buffoni in a toddler Nike tank top and spandex leggings, nor was she Nora Vasconcellos' soccer mom dyed purple bangs of millennial inclusivity, not Welcome's deliberately shitty fake drawings of bunny rabbits on lame approximations of old early nineties shapes, Deanna was not about still being in school and studying in a hotel room on a roller-decking contest trip, and Deanna certainly was not getting pro'd by Tony Hawk or Willy Santos at the pizza party, where they drink soda pop, stayed up late playing Nintendo, gorging on cookies, candy and cake.

At the time, we never did really know the full extent of what happened—exactly why Deanna was slumping it now on tour with the Dolls. Maybe Ed was keeping an eye on her, maybe she had flamed out, didn't feel like going to Hazeldon again, or was simply bored working in LA or New York and Ed put her on Dolls to keep the talent stiff (literally and figuratively) and on our toes, because after all, Edward trusted no one (not even, and especially not Carrie Lure). For instance, everyone in the know, knew it really was all such utter total bullshit when Ed said in the Epicly Later’d, he cares more for the single careers of each team member, than the general well being of Dolls, but no one ever said anything or even bothered confronting Ed’s cowardly, fake friend pose. Perhaps Ed would have preferred Carrie, like a Brian Anderson character, being the gay baby panda of the team, instead of being a real threat, threat to the point of liability, which was exactly what Carrie was—the same liability that made Dolls Dolls, and not some Habitwee Villager safety brand of sterile, “clean” stock brochure font design, which deceived most into thinking it wasin the now” and just so slickly contemporary.

To Ed's credit, with all off Deanna's incessant, overly audacious, quotidian advertising of who she thought was cute, who'd she'd jump at the chance to shag with, who's she's shagged, almost shagged or who she could possibly be bagging in the future—Ed never got too flummoxed about it—I never once saw him blink the whole time on tour the numerous times Deanna’s overt display of lust occurred—and to Ed’s creditEd really was kinda a pimp like that. But what other way should celebrity wife be treated? Just listening to Deanna go on and on made me nervous—she thought about sex, talked about it more than any guy, making it seem like practically anyone she came across, who was even the least bit interesting or not even at all attractive, could have a decent shot in the sack with her. This wasn't entirely true of course though, it was just a way for her to show off, cause in reality, most of the time, you actually had to be of a certain status to actually get inside her pants (sometimes, Deanna did mention some random bloke she made it with to throw us off, though). But she made it seem really too easy sometimes, instantly overly flirting with any guy she just met in front of us—such a candy darling, tousling her hair, touching their shoulder, being mired in whatever banal conversation she had just fallen into to the point of the guy ending up making slight advance towards her in front of the whole team and her husband, to where he then fell victim to her trap, would be handled in whatever fashion the situation called for, whatever Deanna's cruel whim should dictate. Most of the time she would pull the rug under them and then of course always go on about it to the team, but when we were in Denton she did go back to the apartment of this one young kid at the dance party, and it still did kinda hurt. But it was always all about Deanna. Even if she was talking about someone in the past, she would of course add, preface it, never fail to mention how she probably got hit on. In that respect, Deanna was a colossal tease, literally she made a career out of it, and if you think about it, it’s just really weak minded and insensitive to always be forcing oneself as the center of attention, like she did—she never had room in her mind for anything you had to say, unless it directly alluded to her—and although the thought of her having sex could be extremely appealing, it all got to be too much of a burden to hear about all the time. It's like Deanna could switch crooks a ledge and then flirt with taking it down a rail in the future, but it would never happen, and so in this, was how Deanna's false promise analogous to mine.

But who were the mystery girls? Who were the real city stars? Who was better than Dolls? Uh, let me think ummmm . . . no one!  The Dollhouse was a pleasantly resolved marital union of punk manqués, closed off in its camaraderie to the onlookers of the mookish greater world—America’s most sovereignly feared skate team, with a unity that could send shivers through any braying jackass who might be fool enough to doubt us. Girl was just wiggers who listened to Motown, after all—I mean big fucking deal. Dolls wasn't fake punk like JT Aultz with mohawk—Dolls was real deal. I mean, nine four, nine three, no one was wearing knee length, sheath cut lycra. And you gotta know, after I bought my first vintage brown peacock quarter sleeve polyester frock, started wearing eye makeup, there really was no going back, and then after that, you immediately start looking down on everyone else not in skirt, everyone in their lamestream Vans jeans, lamestream Vans Miller Outpost plaid flannel, lamestream Volcom tank tops. It almost instantly became, I only wanted to see dressage only footage, which was only Dolls footage at the time. Dolls looked better than most chicks anyways—most girls were overweight (so cruel to say, but so true). Dolls was cute skinny skater boys, living on a steady diet of nothing, pulling dinner from pocket, and it goes without saying, picking out more well thought out ensembles, specifically coordinated for whatever extreme street situation we were expected to put ourselves in, as the county tramps we were, who could not be tethered to the turf on which we slept so colorfully. 

It's just really funny how women are automatically assumed to be more fashion conscious, automatically assumed this by everyone—just because women are materialistic, doesn’t necessarily mean most chicks really know how to dress. Boy did Dolls prove that one wrong! 

Carrie also made an astute point once too, how it’s a misconception when women are automatically assumed as being more sensitive than men, when in a lot of cases it's quite the opposite. Carrie said to think about how women typically grieve a shorter amount of time between break ups than guys do, because they are usually onto the next, if not daisy chaining boyfriends without intervals of being single. Chicks will cheat on you and let it slip out, because they are just doing (being) themselves, they kinda even want you to know about when they cheat on you, for you to be reminded about who’s on top—and how is that sensitive? Women get to constantly make fun of guys they date and it's perfectly acceptable for them to take swipes and you're supposed to just be a good sport about it all and take it all, as they still openly criticize even more, while they say everything out loud on their unfiltered mind, inappropriately telling you what you need to do with your life, giving unsolicited advice about things that are none of their business—all this, because they are the deciders after all, they have the choice to choose in a sea of men and there's always some never ending test to endure. There's always errands to run, always an endless list of tasks to complete for them (but at the same time, asking for even the slightest sexual favor could be completely out of line). Dating a beautiful woman is like dating a celebrity, who constantly day dreams about them self—you could actually have something notable or important to share with them and they don’t think about what you said, steer it back to something about them that’s insultingly trivial in comparison, because there’s no room in their head for you. So how does that make them more sensitive? Deanna was really good at all that. And Deanna, yeah, she was super charismatic, but she was probably the most insensitive person I have ever met in my life. Just like, it's really so out of line to flirt with us in front of Ed, like what I was saying before, and Ed having to just take it, would have likely been told to quit being "a girl" if it upset him. "She's too rough and I'm too delicate," Ed once said in a rare moment of candor. And when Deanna was always conspicuously saying who she thought was hot or attractive out loud, who'd she'd wanna shag—that way of flaunting the power she had, inappropriately expressing every lustful whim, and if hypothetically it were to upset Ed in the least, then Ed was probably being too sensitive—he had to be "man" enough to take being made a fool of. And that's what chicks do, and they did it all the time. So how does that make them more sensitive? Crying or being able to cry on cue in front of people, like women are more prone to, doesn't indicate for certain that one is necessarily more sensitive, it just means one lacks resolve, lacks the tenacity and consideration to just keep it to themselves—always crying with other people around just means it's all about them—it doesn't mean they are necessarily more sensitive, it’s just they don't have the character to just suck it up and keep it private, and if they're upset, they have to be the center of attention, let the whole world know, when guys are expected to do the opposite. So how does that make them more sensitive? 

Dolls demos where the only gigs I ever seen where the kids at the demo were dressed as outlandishly as the band, and they were as interested in each other as they were with what was going on on the course. All I wanted to do was wear some cool dresses, get clips, a photo on something new, have some fun doing demos, that's all. You think that would have been in line with the Dolls' program. Diego and Dallas would have star fits, Dallas didn't even want to skate—as if not skating was not only a viable career move for himself, but actuality necessary, a pragmatic careerist decision. We'd be filming each other at the demo—Dolls thought filmers were corny, were real adamant about not being seen in public with them, plus filmers needed cash, cash which could have been used for more dresses or new boots or for copping dope. I'd be filming something at the demo behind unholy squeal of Fender Twin reverb amp, and since I was the new guy, they really didn't want to fuck with me—if I wanted to pull a trick a second time, Dallas would be like, "Isn't that good enough?" It was like "What do you mean isn't it good enough? I'm just warming up!" 

Major signs that something was off became apparent when we stopped in LA to cut the promo. Cheetah was supposed to produce it, but Ed just went withTy, which was such a terrible decision—Ty was completely antithetical to what Dolls was even about, again, like Ed was using Ty against the brand, combined with just shitty judgement in general, and plus also the very, very unfortunate logistics of Cheetah not being available. It was apparent from the start, Ty didn't know what the fuck to do with the Dolls. He made videos edited to Moby or like fucking Built To Spill or some shit. All the beleaguered edits looked like some facsimile of the Dolls, a xerox of a xerox (which actually, in theory, that sounds like it could be cool, but trust me, it wasn’t). Carrie was out of his bloody mind the whole time also, I saw him in the lobby, crying into the pay phone booth, talking to someone, was begging them, "Could you please come here and rescue the promo? Ty's destroying the Dolls!"

The promo was awful. I wished it was in the spirit of some idealized Hollywood version of the Dolls I envisioned—I thought the promo would have looked tight, if maybe it was like the Black Label Dwane Peters doc—just some consciously cheap piece of LA documentary trash, with some really bad, semi professional video production garish pink Dolls graphic keyed up and blaring on the screen, some really generic stock commercial metal riffs playing in the background. Since we were in LA, I was thinking it would be cool if it had the look of this one really shitty, unauthorized Gun's N’ Roses doc I had seen, where they were interviewing peripheral characters from the Sunset Strip scene and not anyone even closely affiliated with the band, and a lot about it seemed really random, really off brand—how that kind of inept production and budget style articulated a hollow commercial vacancy, which could translate well for the Dolls aesthetic in LA—it woulda been kinda cool. But the promo was Dolls being filtered throughTy, it looked way too slick, some un-ironic parody, kinda like what Mixtape 2 was for Zoo York. Ty even exploited some stray and kind of indulgent Chan Marshall  footage of her at Washington Square he must have had laying around, I instantly cringed, immediately felt real embarrassed for C. Leave it to Ty to make some superstar like CM, look totally wack in one of his inane edits, also considering too, she really had nothing to do with the Dolls, how Ty was just exploiting some celebrity clip, not even taking into consideration that some viewers would be smart enough to pick up on this.

Also, not to mention, I didn't have any actual street clips—actual street clips as in no clips—which no one seemed to mind or care enough about or consider to think to even suggest to facilitate any situation to help me get any covey for the promo to solidify my slot on Dolls—like, the video was well going on without me anyways, and this was the first major sign it wasn't going so hot with me and the team, pretty heart breaking really. When it came to me being on Doll's, besides Bruiser (the new guy) and Lure and Deanna (at first) and maybe Austin, no one really seemed to give me much thought. You think since OG Carrie was down with me, that would have solidified my spot, but because of Ed's contempt for him, I may as well have been a pair of Deanna's loft discarded period panties.

When I first jumped into the van, we made a stop, I remember Dallas saying, when we pulled into the parking lot, "I'm going to wash my panties", didn't think much of it, and then I learned that that was an actual thing, that everyone on Dolls actually all wore women’s undergarment, skated in them, lived in them—which there really was no way of knowing from watching Dolls footage, or looking at photos in Big Brother, and no one in the mags ever mentioned it—but it was actually a thing. I just always wore my comfy, comfy boxers, but planned on getting some, actually thought about it a lot too, but kind of procrastinated with it, and that combined with also holding out on getting the ones I imagined in my head (which may or may not have existed). But I didn't realize the team was actually keeping tabs on me, until one day, Deanna says to me brusquely, haunted by unspoken suspicion,“Panties.You gotten some panties yet . . .", and I answered, responding to her as if she was still blatantly flirting with me, like at the beginning of the trip, "No, not yettt . . .” I guess Deanna forgot to take her vitamins that day, as she was now being cold and curt, deflecting my breeziness in a way that now made my demeanor now seem entirely inappropriate, when in the beginning it had been all right—this, now the most serious I've ever seen her. "No—but I'm totally gonna get some, I just haven't yet, promise . . . "  Deanna says nothing, walks away unsettlingly, as if the issue hasn't been resolved, fucking bi-polar ass.

The thing about the Dolls is, is like, you always automatically assume someone you admire, just because you share the same aesthetic sensibility, you think you would also share the same emotional and psychological sensibility. Most of the time, people who you think are pretty fucking cool, don't even like you and then you're just trying to win them over and they respect you less. I will say though Carrie Lure is a fucking legend though, the sweetest dude ever—and him being, such a sweetie, like extra cool to me was everything—he was the OG Doll, after all, even more so than Templeton. 

Carrie looked sixty, though he was somewhere in his late forties—was seven parts Joe Delassandro, two parts a very gaunt Mick Ronson. Carrie was the only one of the Dolls who was actually gay (well, besides Deanna, who was kind of bi), although he rarely talked about sex, never expressed sexual interest in anyone, which made me believe he was also asexual. Carrie could barely skate, but his six foot frame could do these incredible front one eighty nose-grinds down anything first try, only try. He also had really awkward heelflips, this when heelfips were unfashionable. The thing is was, he just looked so incredible in print and on the runway, Carrie was “the” (not “a”) true icon of fashionbasically he looked like God. Although being known as gay, career spanning intravenous drug user, in the eighties, in New York, that did not stop him from being invited to fairly exclusive orgies. Carrie dressed better than most girls if not all girls, held himself in the shadow of some nameless old time glamour, like a Marlene Dietrich—his make up, always junkie impeccable upon road weary face, Carrie, living embodiment, as OG Doll. At the demo in Columbus, for instance, Carrie wore: tight black leather pants with Stevie Ray Vaughn western circle buckles running down the sides of his legs, under a purple vintage holly hall Little House on the Prairie gown, rhinestone strip earrings dangling, too much mascara and he had on his weird black leather breakdancing gloves with the knuckles and fingers cut out that he could somehow get away with, blond hair looking as new as a child’s, and that’s the coolest someone has ever looked in front of me in person, ever.  

Carrie was just a really randy son of a bitch, though his unresolved heart worked against him in this preposterous world he was locked in, suffering from unrequited love from a boy in his early years, which well doomed him for life. Carrie had lived an exciting, yet turbulent, hard life, but for a few weeks in the seventies, he briefly lived with James Williamson in a mansion in the Hollywood hills. The rental of the mansion was paid for by MainMan, in order to keep Williamson and company shelved from blowing out Stardust, this, when Stardust was first dropping from his spaceship and onto the world. Apparently, Carrie just tormented MC5 groupies with the Asherton brothers, shot junk from a limitless supply of heroin that they had to cut with a giant sack of lactose—pure junk, which if not mixed to a certain minimum was surely lethal, a potent form so good, you were junkie for life. Carrie said Mainman kept his homies at bay and then after Stardust hatched and was established,Tony Defries just kicked them off the label, threw them out of the mansion and in turn kicked Carrie out and Carrie found himself homeless again, then wandering with just a dance belt and tube of chapstick back to New York. In NY, he didn’t have a bike, was given an old Sims to be a sort of courier, a gopher, where he could still dress in drag, and deliver sandwiches for this one sandwich shop in the Village. And to earn better tips, Carrie learned to roller skate off curbs for efficiency, he accidentally learns ollies in bitch boots, the stars aligned, Ed randomly encountered him on the street, captivated at first disco glance.

You could tell Carrie and Ed were once kinda good homies, but then you wondered why Lure didn’t have stake, as they seemed more or less equals, but then you learn Carrie was the quarry, was drug addled help, just too much junky business really, but it was still so bewildering whenever Ed and Deanna were talking shit about him, which seemed so unjustified and also justified. Straight edge Ed though, you could tell, kept, enabled Carrie to be ensconced in heroin shroud, so that he could unoriginally make decisions in his favor, like Ed being more than willing to become enabling mother hen who also got the luxury to complain about Carrie in Carrie’s absence. It was dicey discussing who spent more time on the prod though, because Swank and Templeton and Rocco sure seemed to be putting in a lot of time making Les Paul Lure decks, right?

The Dolls was Baulthus, it was in the cut of sentry Roman uniform. It was like a James Dean type of situation, it was in Elvis, or like, Jim Morrison. It was at Powell for a tad wee bit, leaving Powell, when Powell got wack, floated over to World label and then Ed and Carrie approached Swank and Rocco, where there, it intensified a bit—passed down eternal-ness, used Dolls as vessel, until the Doll body broke, melted upon itself, spirit of the ages then released. Of course when the Dolls were hottest, they were least popular. When Dolls broke up, Carrie gets dropped off to the airport in Detroit, after resigning on the spot, after Ed at the band meeting says “Everyone is replaceable”Austin in the airport drop off terminal, asks Carrie, “What about the Dolls?”, famous last words, Carrie says “Fuck the Dolls”, quitting the brand and simultaneously running late to the gate for his flight back to Zoo.

Eventually a small glimmer of whatever was left of the wave spirit, returned in everyone oh, so late in the game and it was so terrible, you could never say anything about it. Everyone eventually cottoned onto wearing dress whilst skating because of old Dolls promos (although they promised a full length promotional movie, “Cumming Soon”), thinking they were now fashion forward enough to be fashion backward enough to wear Doll clothes, now that it was trendy and safe and unoriginal—this when being Dolly became status quo—so funny how now it’s standard to have at least, minimum, one dress line, a dress clip per promotional reel, if not the whole video part tranny—because once kids got into it, they really got into it. A lot of established pros couldn’t make the transition, never could quite pull it off, but they still had to at least try to, and that was the worst part, but also the funniest—despite wearing too many tank tops, Janoski still absolutely looked made for it, really make it work—he made a smart transition, co-opting his boy tank tops into some really ideally captivating ensembles, but also so too did Don Singleton look good, Don Dill you have to admit, and weirdly and especially, the Flash Gordon of rollerskating, AVE, and so on. 

Of course by ’98, like a tool table for operating on your scooter board, every skate boutique would also eventually come to have at least one dress rack (wannabe Versace— Palace, where the lads shop, has up to ten racks of women’s tops, a glass case of accessories that rivals its sticker shelves), and it really also had so much to do with how fabulous Ed actually looked in drag. 

Prima Ballerina Templeton, that bastard is still winning. In the end, I have to admit, Ed did have the best hair, and the things he could do with pulled tulle was certainly something to write home to mom about—his whole stez was like this homely, segregation era, Betty Page formal, white Oregon in the forties, antique quaintness, which was so lethally seductive. Ed was gorgeous (even better looking than Deanna, which I know bothered her), just always perfect make up, and he didn’t skate too much because it would fuck it up, where in comparison, I really was just another wanna-be, nineteen clumsy and shy, me, just another personality crisis and it’s taken lost years still unable to digest all the shame and disappointment from rejection from the Dolls. I mean, think about it, Temp in his late teens was cooler than I'll ever be, even before he became a full on tranny skater and when I think about that, that's what stings the most probably. Not only am I not naturally as actualized as Ed, but I kinda tried too hard to get there, in a way that makes me worse off than never trying at all. And perhaps the best I can do, is consider it some sort of right of passage (a right of passage that up to now, has not really lead to anything else, really). Maybe one is really forced to truly become their own, when they are kicked out by their heroes, spat upon by the same people who at one time greatly influenced them—to diminish hierarchies one should make the ones above them their enemies, have them put into the cross hairs—this, for those of us who live in a world of can-not and imposing limitation. Though really, in the world I was allowed to briefly inhabit, it seemed to hinge more on proximity or personality and surprisingly, less than on aesthetics or philosophical view point or emotional aptitude or even actual talent—and in actual reality, if you want to hold hands with Margot Tennenbaum, unfortunately, your bands got to sound like Coldplay, and you know, that’s life, babes.

When Carrie and the Dolls got back to Zoo York NY, land of a thousand dances, word got around, but it was still very hush-hush, kind of secretive, because everyone wanted Carrie to themselves. The reason it was so special, was that the only other thing anyone heard of Carrie, was that he had a nervous breakdown, was resting off somewhere in Van Nuys. It was Sable, Luigi Scorcia, Simon Ritt, Timo Kaltio, coming in and out, and no one else from the team except Bruiser, and then just me. Scorcia even brought over some really nice skag—a loving and sweet gesture to the pope of mopey dope, no doubt. It was exciting though, Carrie, the man (well, the man in drag), was mythic. By that time, well after Dolls was established, Carrie was God. In New York, Carrie Lure was pretty much the only one universally respected by everyone in the downtown scene—and these were people who respected no one. I mean, okay, there was Gonz. Gonz was brilliant, but he was kinda too kooky, and he certainly wasn't Carrie Muthafuckin’ Lure.

By the time we got to Zoo York, Zoo York, Carrie told me my only responsibility was just to walk down to the Bowery at like five in the morning, wait in a seemingly unlikely line, which supposedly moved fast enough, and procure some lids of horse for him. The thing is was, Carrie had plenty, and his homies even all bought some to the room, but the important thing is, is you can never, never run out and besides, maybe me also going over to East Third and Avenue A, was a good test run, for what task I would maybe, while on tour hopefully in the future, after this little spat with Ed blew over, be bestowed with—I mean, I was actually looking forward to the pedantry of when things got too close, like making myself useful, in the future, when Carrie was in a pinch in other cities. And if you think coping dope somewhere you've never been, in drag, high, drunk, whatever, was a walk in the park, then you got another thing coming.

Deanna said there’s something warm about the rain, but she couldn’t tell you where clouds came from. Deanna once said tornados were the sum of the wind created by all collective movement—it all needed some place to go, so it escaped to the flat plains, destroyed all it could, until it dissipated and vanished. Lipstick Killers was the same—the wind inside us, were the unevenly amplified thoughts, pressured until released through murder. The vacuum of Deanna's Wayfers, reflected the emptiness outside of infinity. When Edward was driving the van to Tulsa, he said that Stephen Hawking knew black holes better than anyone, because to truly understand their nature, to grasp them, one would have to actually become one, actually inherit a black hole’s characteristics—which explains the correlation of Hawking's collapsed upon itself body, with his expertise on the subject—it wasn’t a coincidence he was paraplegic. Everyone has darkness inside of them (it’s the calamity that comes with existence), it’s how they negotiate that darkness, which is our free will, that we all must contend against—it doesn’t mean a benevolence doesn’t exist, benevolence and darkness both exist. 

But the media would later be all about these new jacks who were fake, basic, safer, suburban mall versions of Doll House, but since the public was now ready and accepting of their tame impala down version, now they had more provenance than the Dolls ever did, confused everyone into making them watered down status quo. And that’s how popular culture works—the not so sophisticated action sports world, where usually, otherwise, the present is always seen as if it were a profile, and the past always presents a full face—but in this case, it’s a past, not taken seriously by the masses when in full force, yet which had a super strong, small cult following before it was universally accepted. And the thing Dolls owned, that thing they did before the breakup, was no longer ours anymore. Yet also on the other hand, for all the pomp and innovation and attitude Dolls possessed, they really couldn't take any type of real challenge, as so how they inevitably folded, splintered. 

The thing you got to understand, is before Dolls, jocks dominated all the art, inadvertently had a say when it came to things they had no business having a say in—it didn’t seem to matter if the pro in control had no personality, their command and physical technological virtuosity allowed them to fall into a position to determine the aesthetics and the identity of the craftall their bad decisions, reinforced by an industry comprised of confused nerdy filmers, completely clueless brand managers, people who had no business owning shops, and so so many dumb skater boys. Now, not only are the Dolls telling Koston how to dress, but Dolls made a virtuoso like Koston kind of obsolete—it didn’t matter how good he was, Koston always would look hella wack. I mean, what business does Kerry Getz have designing denim? If it was up to Tim Gavin, all skaters (and people not skaters trying to emulate skaters) would look more like RC Pro Cart technician. The Dolls put fraulien fashion into the mix, salvaged it at least from companies like Oakley determining skateboarders all look like full on professional wakeboarders—when now, we all know all the hot skater boys are trying to look more like puss n’ boots Anita Pallenbergh in 1972, than say, Sean Malto in romper in 2015.

We wanted to exercise against our better judgement, facilitate the action of putting our bodies through unlikely outcome of minor miracle, that which could cascade, carry over into access of all royalties which come with privilege (which actually would never happen in timely fashion because we were the Dolls after all). Run through the gap, ride out successfully through the other side, transformed—slip down the rail to end up between someones legs, someone who of course would not be with you, unless you were capable of completing such proprietary act. Drag was emotional excess, that was our gapand such a risk at that, which should yield wanton success, but really didn’t in the way you would imagine. Dolls got all the other team's girls though, and at least the Doll’s didn’t have to skate rails to do it, or even skate that much at all, for that matter. The skirt worked like a song, until defeat would of course be snatched from the jaws of victory.

Fame is a mild form of schizophrenia, but it never phased Carrie. Carrie said if you're smart enough, people can never hurt you. To truly not care what anyone thinks about you, requires being sociopathic or ahead of your audience. You make a discovery on your own, you put it out, the audience gets acclimated to it, and then now they suddenly, automatically think they are on the same level. Carrie used to spit on his fans, because that's how it had to be. Sometimes you feel generous, you let a fan or groupie in, then they just want to flip the script on you, when you were just trying to be cool to them. But the fact is, is that most artists, musicians, DJs, writers, muralists, skaters, filmers, gallerists, photographers, general public, hot girls are all pretty much totally fuckin’ clueless. Carrie said your secrets should be guarded, not generously given away. Sometimes once you gave it away, you were one of them.

I walk into the room and Carrie is sitting at the table in the corner, carving Nazi logos into the surface with the switch blade, given to him by Dee Dee Ramone. “I guess we won’t be staying here again,” I think to myself, as I remove the coin purse from my hand bag, where the dope is.

“Bruiser went to the emergency room, he broke his foot jumping a subway track . . .”  mutters Carrie nonchalantly, either being a master at concealing his stress about Bruiser’s predicament, or truly not giving a shit. 

I hand the thick small neon zebra striped packets to Lure, reusable packets so pretty and of thicker plastic, I automatically think about how they must have cut into the dope profit margin—these were not the regular sacks most customers got, then I realize, of course the guy at Extra Large knew it was for Lure—and welcome to my world. I throw them onto the table and this is now the happiest I’ve seen Carrie all day, ”Baby, this should earn you an indulgence!” he says, as if the dope was so good, they could have children looking over at us with a smile.

“I just don’t understand why someone would buy a Dolls t-shirt for fifty bucks, when for that much they could sleep with me instead,” Carrie ponders, springing works upon the table.

“Uh, I think kids are better off with just going with the t-shirt, Dear . . .”

" . . . I thought my mother was being some sort of Puritan, when she said magazines will rot your brain—but I know now they ruined my life," Carrie, methodically sucking liquid from the spoon into the syringe, speaking in a tone that makes him sound like one of the most responsible people in New York.

Carrie ties off with slightly melodramatic, noble anguish, pulls the skinny woman's belt tighter around his wing.

"Maybe, I shoulda been a nurse . . ."  he says, in a tone of solemn aspiration, as he squeezes the sanitized medical instrument.

Carrie sits back into his chair and gets off, regains some composure, purposefully lights a cigarette, and I can tell he’s really high because his voice sounds like honey spread over gravel, all delightfully raspy. Carrie grabs the syringe, holds it between his thumb, pointer and index, like he’s holding a pencil. Carrie wants to tell me more about his aunt, wants to talk about when he was a boy living in St. Petersburg. 

Looking back, like when Deanna threw me her underwear when I was in the restroom that one time, I though, just assumed she threw them for me as some sort of visual gesture (I connected it with like what she said in the Nan vid—even though they weren't unwashed, which I thought was peculiar), but now I'm almost one hundred percent sure, I mean I do know now, I guess, it was a clue, her way of telling me to just go ahead and put them on. And that's probably all I had to do, to like help fully seal the deal. And it's not as if I didn't not want to put them on necessarily, like I said, it’s all pretty ridiculous, because, I always thought about it, thought of what kind I would eventually get, really just procrastinated, was a real idiot about it all, and it just didn't click at that moment to put them on, especially in the condition I was in, that that was the secret handshake of the Dolls. The solidarity bought on by the Mexican A, must have hastened her trust, but it also messed up my judgement real good, I was just not in the right frame of mind to properly interpret her gesture, it all probably hinged on that too, which was the test I failed, and I totally fucking blew it. It never mattered how much footy I got, how perfect my make up ever was.

But spending twenty minutes with Deanna, it's obvious that not only is she beset with the difficulties that come with being alive, but you quickly got an idea of all the self inflected problems she too must also contend against, which couldn't quite be balanced out with the white trash privilege she so clung to, exploited to its furthest. And how in the end, Deanna’s brand of “feminism” just all seemed like poorly disguised misandry—I mean, she was always, constantly sorting out wheat from the chaff. Maybe her fucking all those random wack dudes, was just her way of doing it—maybe she needed the fake pose as bad as we all did.  

But what I’m trying to get at, what I really wanted to say is was, when Carrie shot junk, he always used what I would call his "responsible voice". Carrie really was at his best during habitual de lo ritual, when he was cooking up works, most at peace during the interval right before administering his own joy—the buoyant optimism brought on by the junk was always waiting there for him in the rearview—you can’t sit here and tell me, try to convince me that for Carrie, it wasn’t worth it, cause I can honestly say, he loved smack, just loved getting off all the time, while also getting to live stoned, on this planet as Carrie Lure too. I mean, think about thatwhat other choice did he have? You probably would have done it too.

After we broke off from the Lip Stick Tour, we never reconnected back with the team, Carrie and Bruiser were gone, and I got an unceremonious pass from the squad (unceremonious, as in they never told me I wasn't on, nor ever called back). I was robbed of any further interest in wearing women's clothes again (although I am known to sport a little flare, from time to time), and I never got back around to skating again serious, full-time. There has been no redemption since then, sixteen years later, and it’s still kind of impossible to come to terms with it. But you see, the thing is was, was skaters were always abusing documentation media to actualize themselves—it was just like an instinct. I always imagined a Thrasher interview, wearing some well cropped black bela cami, say, maybe using my interview as vehicle to come to terms with my estranged father. Once I had no outlet, it all but died for me, I might as well been Bunny Tremelo at this point.

And so it goes. Ten—fifteen years pass by and one day you wake up, running low on a memory, kicking back lines that could choke a baby elephant with Wes Anderson—hitting snowboard rails with Wes, Tenneblunts era, you haven’t seen it yet, but Wes has, and he knows he's got something on his hands, is about to eclipse his arsenal onto the world, but now he’s so spracked out to the gills, he’s not saying much, you can tell he’s just sitting back, satisfied, reveling in the mellow buzz, day dreaming about himself. Hey Wes, can you drive me around Silverlake to fill out job applications?

After my brief moonlighting with the Dolls, they would have some change ups and in a lot of ways, it would begin to resemble Night of the Living Dead, Jerry Only without Danzig—I may as well have Blondie McCoy hair as bad as Daewon’s, with the fate I had been casted. Shortly after the tour, I came across Deanna's surprise inaugural and meritorious, double page Dolls ad in the bible: polaroids of her against a simple, pink, post punk background, Deanna in a hotel room I was not in, sitting on the bed, inhaling something exotic with a thin steel tube and tinfoil (I think it might have been krokodil) and in thick, black, bold teflon font letters it said: "Too Much Junky Business! Welcome To The Team Dee!"—and right at that moment it occurred to me that maybe, perhaps, Deanna had been trying out for the Dolls all along too, even though I naturally assumed she was already closely affiliated with the brand because of her being married to Ed and all. Deanna, the heart breaker, getting on Dolls, at first seemed really gratuitous and unnecessary, but then again, Dolls was gratuitous and unnecessary, and so it was kinda perfect and ahead of the audience (and convenient for Ed). 

The blacktop road was etched red with smeared lip stick double line, it was treacherous and we never knew where it would lead, too much too soon, and also not enough, but at least we followed it anyways, I guess. Dolls brought fun and a self-awareness when things were getting maybe more serious than it needed to be. We had stabilized the land, we gentrified the Alzheim clan. A lot of the girls were too cool to demo in actual Dolls’s decks, and they got sent blanks in their packages or spray painted over whatever—but I was always psyched, too proud to rep the black magik web garter Truth and Soul, wished I kept one for myself to tac on the wall. It was a strange world we inherited, a thunderhead of a world with jagged lightning edges. You see, the point of dressing up like a doll, is that women like to play with dolls and so naturally they wanted to play with us. And for a second, we were the baddest chicks in Rock N’ Roll, the original pink ladies of the glitter narcissism movement, with only minor differences of variation between us—some ridiculous trash glam theatre of combined forms of art; dance, photography, drawing, painting, sculpture, film, acting and fashion design. There’s a little bit of whore in every woman. Many got it wrong and never did get it right. I went straight into it. For a moment, it seemed wide, wide open, but you can’t really put your arm around a memory, now, can you? One thing was for sure though, not only was everything not run by God, but it wasn’t run by the devil either. 

Monday, February 8, 2016

Stereo SF Symphony Visual Sounds; Ethan and Neal Cassady: Alcohol Letters of Guild Rust Upon Steiner Terrace

We'll you know, Ethan was kind of like Mortuary, but try explaining that one to Reese.

Remember Daher in his intro though, Daher—looking like he had just finished up a valet gig in Pac Heights—lights up cigarette on the incline near a garage door on the peak of Octavia and Jackson, puts his unskated Stereo board down with the perfect, unscathed edges, which makes it seem like a giant piece of candy, rolls down towards downtown like he's eventually going to reach California and Drum, California and Davis—Brown Marble ledges, but instead edit cuts to his first line he does on Noe and Henry—an intersection that looks like it could be off Haight, but it's more south, next to Duboce Triangle—he ends that line with ollieing a wooden bench after almost running into a pedestrian. In next cut, he finally makes it out to Brown Marble though, with the line with nollie nose grind in it, then Union Square line at night goes in the dark path lined with hedgerow, camera light the only illumination—probably, during or if not maybe actually a little after peak Union Square, another Raul Wallenburgh school line on Masonic, another backside ollie on a bump that looks like it's in Golden Gate Park Polo Field, but it's not, it's somewhere else, and so on. 

But could you imagine trying to convey such sentiment at the Skatemental, like say, in needless peer earnestness with Reese—Jay, like actually trying to share a glimpse of that secret supernatural thing which made Stereo Stereo—but in such imaginary situation, Reese really never gets it, let alone even deserves access to such information. Reese is barely listening, also staring off in the distance, instead concentrating on the seduction of the Renzo Piano rip off architecture of the office or focusing on a hill through the window off in the distance—Reese's leased office space, which doesn't deserve the wholly unrealized crack pot output of the Skatemental. Reese, who fancies himself as someone who thinks and acts in  "broad strokes", gets "the big picture"—even though the details inside such proprietary acts are beyond generic to say the very least—his ideas, which would be the type of thing your average John Q. lame-streamer would first blurt out in focus group—like, that Lil' B Mardi Gras decking series, case and point to what goes. And Reese just never has any emotional space left in him when you're talking to him, like enough to titter him away from that superficial, practically self-anointed "figurehead" mental positioning, which he more than so eagerly bestowed upon himself, since he acquired the turn-key transaction of the mental. Jay's explaining it and yeah, Reese punctuates it with vacant "Uh-huhs" which only resonate Reese really doesn' have a clue, couldn't even have his head around what Jay is actually saying, nor probably wants to mentally inconvenient himself to consider or accept such lofty truths. And then Reese could very well of course shoot back with something random, not even related to the subject, as to contradict Jay's message in what ultimately descends into needless pissing contest—a function of Reees's grand ego maniac avec inferiority complex, the not so hidden psychological engine which made Skatemental what it really was—the not-so thinly veiled trash brand.

Sure, Reese thought he was on some next shit, but you know he really wasn't. Though his imperial instincts were confirmed once he got Jay under his payroll, and then he of course feels like he owned Jay while also simultaneously feeling threatened by him, even though Skatemental produced way more stunt wood than Stereo ever did—Stereo, a sort of coup de foundre against an industry that at one time may have deserved better brands.

People still believed Stereo was just mostly some calculation, though—a template everyone could now understand and co-opt into their own version of skate narrative. But if Stereo was so easy to figure out though, then why were there no brands even coming close to penetrating the depths through which Stereo reflected cosmopolitan splendor, an illusion of limitless reward run-off from gilded age of west tamed land? If it was all so simple, then why was this something even Jay himself now wasn't capable of continuing on with—how could this even escape the very person who made such discovery? Twenty-seven years from now, a seven year old girl on a computer's screen in pink leotard and tu-tu will have more sentimental narrative based cache overshadowing any of Visual Sound's promise—a co-opting, some democratization, an unfair and clumsy cultural imperialism avalanche in which collective football mom's opinion of skate content will have more of a voice than Hickey's ever would. 

But too, like all souls, Hickey will soon vanish.

Stereo just happened, was bound to happen—and if it wasn't Jay to discover it, someone else surely probably, maybe would have. Stereo wasn't like Blind, Stereo wasn't SMA. Stereo was more like, closer to Grateful Dead —like the Dead also, but also, not quite.

Ethan driving drunk, runs lights, in the middle of the day, accelerates down Haight, then across Market into Mission. Ethan, like some crackup beat shaman, rides order on top of cloud of complete chaos algorithm—the safety of order there, which would not last forever or for too long (like any classic success typified by California), but would inevitably descent into just complete chaos and destroy everything closely involved around it (which was Ethan mostly). Old Pony Boy Ethan, Caufield Ethan, hop headed jazz age kouros, chaos wrapped inside the all American looks projecting a Hoosier innocence (he was from Iowa). Stray erratic movements which only really announce how erratic Ethan really was on the inside—were all clues which made no lies, were never too greatly concealed—the random audacious jerky movements or laying in the middle of the street in the middle of the day or sitting on the old couch on the sidewalk in the Mission holding a record sleeve with cigarette in the other hand—it all only told you how dangerously freewheeling Ethan really was, but his good looks wrapped in Catholic sweater urged you to believe more, urged you to believe he was capable of more than redeeming himself in the near future, so anything he did now was quite alright—the kind of paper moon dust bowl transplant from Walker Evans photo transported to the Mission quality Ethan possessed—he, an embodiment of some particular kind of quaint, a late afternoon Mission quaintness, a quaintness which sits in the stark silence within 1930's shot gun Victorian architecture, surrounded by all the infinitely captivating neighborhood shops, the dark cosy red candle bars, the unpretentious restaurants in the neighborhood, all which in some abstract way, said "welcome"—all this existing in the bat-shit crazy bay city of kiss proof sanitary toilet seats, plastic bubble fizz water, hop head of amphetamine night time jazz and Stereo.

On the way to Sal's, Jay thought of the suicide which came up—figured Guy was maybe probably actually associated, but then again crack was probably involved and it was skid row after all. Guy had at one point been on Stereo for about three or four months, like when it first started, but now since so much time has elapsed, may have very well been for seconds.

Paulo was too busy smoking crack in the hotel on Leavenworth, the only one time he came to visit SF, so he didn't never get any SF Stereo pro clips. Paulo was even more talented than Ethan, the second coming of Gonz, but more tech, more Gonzy than Gonz ever was—even on Adidas with his own shoe before Gonz, but you know he didn't have so much as one solitary clip playing bongos in Visual Sound—just like the way how dysfunctional West Coast jazz groups sometimes work.

And Jay knew now, but couldn't see it them, that how going inside Wallenburgh, back up the hill, behind the school black top, with the tiny long brick wall and the tall bent plastic picnic tables which served no other purpose than for noselslides—going inside Wallenburgh, like say, after school on a week day, being in the hallway, getting a drink of water from a short fountain or using the restroom, would seem as if penetrating behind the scenes of the video, behind the curtain of Visual Sound or of all those other early 411's.

No matter how far into the video you would try to pierce through, there was always some unseen yet predictable emptiness hidden in the wings all by itself, waiting for you, telling you that the universe doesn't have any end—if you've ever tried to escape a dream from running out of what you though was the dream's margins—you try to run but you can't, you try to yell but you can't, you try to skate but it never works—as if these things were possible in the dreamscape, such would cause the dream world to collapse upon itself, cease to exist—just as if nervous tension didn't exist, neither would our world, and our plane of existence would fold upon itself and disappear—neither you, nor me, nor SF, or Stereo, even existence, would exist. But if existence never existed—would it never have existed forever, or always not existed, and if this was so, then what would there be?

There would be no Heather, there would be no Sigourney either, no Rooney Mara flapper Egyptian retro futuro footage at Sutro Baths on a cliff at eight in the morning, shot in black and white or even not so much as reels of Rooney Mara at night after the rain at Coit tower—but this time shot in color, which picks up the celluloid saturated greens and dizzying blues of the light precipitation mist in timelessly futuristic lime light, in the next Stereo video.

Unfortunately, there would be no other Stereo video—no more sounds culled from streets of over developed settlement. No more spools of reels of Daher and Greg with the classic affable American sheep dog in front of classic, Frisco Victorian stoop near Hayes, no enabled drinking team with jazz problem and not to mention—with Deluxe flitting the bill for it all. But worse than New York Dolls, was Stereo—the disfunction began both before and right when the band started. And it just didn't matter how responsible of a roommate Greg was or wasn't, how much brunt of responsibility for the team he had bared, he knew it before it was over. 

And it seems so unlikely, peculiar really, Jay and Greg were even once roommates after all. Greg had that same Caufield vibe Ethan had, perhaps more so, Pencey Prep or maybe he was more like Stratler after all. Greg's tidy dresser top, Baptist cologne fumes on chiffonier. The furnished rental apartment off Steiner, which even by '91's standards would seem like an unlikely lavish bachelor pad overlooking the shadowed in daytime spires and towers of Pacific Heights, the rust balcony that was the promise runoff of things like 1950's Tropicana Room tiki-bar grandeur of the great swinging post atomic age key parties, Jay and Greg the proverbial (and provincial) odd couple—all that rent on Klimt's tab, though such certainly wouldn't last forever. Although technically, Jay was not yet alcoholic when they moved in, he was already well on his way. There weren't too many dark times at the old apartment on Steiner really though, any drunken misstep could still be seen innocent and quaint in such posh surroundings (Jay spilling wine on the carpet, Jay leaving the burner of the stove on over night), excusable shenanigans especially from such young and clean cut gents, independent contractors for a boutique consumer sport/lifestyle brand at that, whom most would also categorize as responsible young lads padded—as they were living in San Francisco's equivalent of the upper east side. As Greg was duly responsible for paying the Pacific Bell bill in an electronic shop all the way in China Town, near California street, so he well took to task. Greg, also direct contact for instance, if there were any issues with the team concerning prod, which the unreliable warehouse people at DLX factory may or may not have sent or had all but gotten all wrong (most of the time it seemed they mostly shipped out whatever the hell they wanted, as if never receiving any of the team request letters—punishing the team for being sponsored). If there was travel arrangement or itinerary unclear, Greg was the go-to, any meet ups either in the city or in LA or Europe, Greg the connect. Greg wold remain in the back always, in the rear with the gear, never first to feast on footage during scavenger hunts. Greg's function in Stereo was like that of Robert Duval in Godfather II. He was like the responsible one protecting his brothers and sisters when their parents were absent or permanently gone—Greg the type who bared the weight of responsibility of the family on his shoulders, like Patrick Swaze in The Outsiders or like Wendy in Peter Pan, but Greg always kept it to himself and there was a sense it's weight upon him he attempted to keep mostly hidden away. But where his face maybe looked a bit sinister, he was practically saintly as the responsible reasonable one—though because of the devil brow on his face (which wasn't his fault), the team may or may not have treated him as well as his actions may have commanded. He didn't have the same face which allowed for enabling like Jay and Ethan had. Greg wasn't even the best skater on the team, but he had the best part, because practically the entire team, including Jay at the time, you know, could have been a bit lazy after all. Greg skating in frugally economized stray clips in 411 was his pragmatic action of coping with disfunction and memories of past—it also got the young 411 kids to segue into watching and accepting the Visual Sound gig—Greg's 411 clips, an under appreciated and thankless job no doubt—as Greg was the symbol of brand continuity; he was the video audience bridge of those deceptively basic yet, only time will further reveal, iconic and hard earned clips downtown. Sure Paulo had his more than fair share of crazy 411 clips, which blew the doors off anyone else and especially Greg: Paulo always seemed more like a free agent though, too wild of a card to depend on for anything, a wild apache—and besides, he barely could be bothered to even rep the brand most of the time anyways, Paulo was not the ambassador that which Stereo so deserved. Paulo, insane, checked out all the time, and that Greg should have had the hammer in the vid which he spent days fighting for (nose slide Bart Station on Powell and Market) and not Paulo, only reveals his pretty much thankless job (he did actually get props for his Visual Sound part). Anytime someone mentioned how hard working Mexican's presumably were, Greg automatically thought about Paulo, kept his thoughts to himself, lips pursed. Greg getting good, was from being arrow shooting distance proximity from Jay's archery, though. Greg's skating was what you see is what you get, no promise of anything else greater, but was still fascinating to watch because it's stringent economy of pragmatism, like, when he ollied the small sideways handrail off Kerny and Market or how the shuv in the line in front of the Toyota Cressida made a certain street poetry type of sense—that maneuver magically juxtaposed against the Toyota again illustrated such the economy and pragmatism of Greg—just like the shot of Greg sitting in the giant sculpture chair off Market, that sculpture near that one art supplies store down the street from DLX, when Greg could easily be confused as accomplished creative ad agency exec, some mastered programmer who offices somewhere SOMA. Greg was Stereo.

But here, Jay now on his way to baby sit SLB store—Sal had called early, tactfully didn't mention the other night at the bar, now saying Mortimer couldn't come in and he asked if Jay could "work" the shop for a few stray bones (as Sal put it, "for extra beer money"), on the fly.

There was blood on the streets where Jay drove, 

There was blood in the streets in the town of New Haven 

Blood stains the roofs and the palm trees of Venice 
Blood in my love in the terrible summer 

Bloody red sun of Phantastic L.A. 

Jay parked in the unlikely bucolic, for being in the middle of the city back lot of the store, and quickly found the key underneath the dumpster, but then it took Jay awhile to get the back door un-locked, partly because he was still kind of stoned and also a bit jittery, but eventually with a simple quick turn jerk of the key, which actually Sal may have mentioned, the back door opens almost too easily and Jay goes in.

Jay looks out at the empty store with the expression pro deckers, or in this case ex pro deckers feel entitled to wear, when they stare out at the solitary retail space—of course perfected and grown stubborn in the last thirty years since Engblom and his dog eared cartel, Zephyr, terrorized neighboring, beautiful, slummy Santa Monica.

Working at a hard goods supply store, in southern California, in the mid to late nineties was a pretty chill affair in general. For instance, when Sal called Jay, it's not like he gave him any opening instruction, beyond telling him where they hid the key outside. The credit card machine at SLB was only batched out like once a month, so Jay didn't have to worry about that. Also, it was doubtful he would have to be responsible for receiving prod or shipments that day, because again Sal probably might have maybe mentioned it. Jay eventually found the light switches for the floor and for the behind the counter area, dragged the custom hand lettered olde timey marquee outside on the sidewalk, flipped around the Santa Cruz sponsored business sign which informed the public the shoppe was open; Jay turned on the Stereo—for the rest of the day pretty much poured through magazines, previous year's catalogs, sifted through videos, smoked a cigarette outside behind the shop, written a note and taped it to the front window, made a quick run to the store down the street.

Jay walks up to the non-attached sliver rack standing by itself, scrolls Sal's pant selection, files through four or five pairs of pristine, dark, blue, blue Stussy jeans, which all but looked starched, still with mint condition brown tags, cardboard pocket flaps, which complemented the color of the orange stitching—the jeans, that with which Jay actually showed some interest, but the sizes were random, a few 29 waists, 38 etc., to the point of being nearly un-sale-able, which made Jay think maybe they had been acquired by Sal under surreptitious means.

When Jay met Heather, well over a decade ago, at the middle school night time assembly dance, Heather may have also had a Stussy shirt on—which Jay, at this point, had never heard of Stussy before—he, yet to be as versed in action sports apparel attire brands as he would later become—and so, that night, in the gym, which seductively smelled of old laminated court flooring in the most sentimental sense, on Heather's boyishly skinny frame, was actually the first time Jay had even seen a Stussy anything. But now, Jay standing alone at the shop by himself, concentrated at the crouch of the jeans he was now holding—and yeah, they may have been guy's jeans, but he still in a flash thinks of the area of the hypothetical fold from the top of Heather's thigh, the area where her thigh meets her pussy—thinks how he's never seen it, and how other men have, and he now feels like a proverbial drug addict in some bad movie, maybe played by someone like James Woods—the LA noir druggie gets started doing drugs at first with and because of some charismatic demon lover woman, but now he was left all by himself, alone, without the woman—the woman, now replaced by implacable drug habit—but in Jay's case here, what remained was a yet to be filled emptiness, that, and an insatiable appetite for boutique brand couture soft goods, which he now clutched onto perhaps a bit too much by his fingers, which still smelled of cigarette smoke. Predictable ennui comes over him still, may or may not be linked to the notion of Jay's finite mortality—the absence of Heather may have always been some allusion to death though, but not to mention, it was always such a total bummer that she wasn't around anyways, and so why couldn't he just like, you know, just get over it?

Indians scattered on Dawn's highway bleeding 

Ghosts crowd the young child's fragile eggshell mind 

Mort came in right before close—walks in immediately making a yucky face, slightly disarming, that which Jay immediately didn't know how to interpret. Mort went behind the counter with an air of annoyed audaciousness, kinda alluding to Jay that Jay was now in Mort's domain, it was Mort's zone. Mortimer was looking for his insurance card to see when it had expired, or if it was expired, said he had nearly blacked out the previous nite, got into a wreck on the freeway, but because his car was too conspicuously fucked up to drive without attracting further attention towards getting pulled over, his only option was to pull to the nearest parking lot off the freeway and evacuate his car, drunkenly flee the scene, which may or may not be a felony in Los Angeles County.

Though sure too, like anyone else, Jay also lives to be dumbfounded like any magician (or pro bono lawyer), only with a passion which extends backwards and frontwards—so listening to Mort's distress was not too much of a burden. But in general, it's hard to gainsay solon, and in such instance, Jay strongly felt upon listening to Mort's disclosure, he should maintain to himself Mort had not erred

"I have no idea where my car is, but it's probably gone . . ."

"Probably . . ."

"What happens next?"

"The car most likely got towed, sucked into city impound. Once they figure out who it's registered to, the police department will contact you and you have to come in and answer some questions before they relinquish your car, when which they try to squeeze as much info out of you as possible and then stick you with a ticket or find a way to further press charges and trust me, that's probably what they'll try to do—they weren't there, and they're gonna act like they were. And they may be real warm at first too, but once you get lured into their office: it's showtime basically—a police office is the lying zone and they are well aware of this. They will scare you into confession—and weather or not it's actually true, hardly seems to matter most of the time. They're bored at work, they live for this stuff and they have experience in such pressing matters. "

"What do I say?"

"As little as possible."

Jay rifles through his jacket, pauses and lights up a cigarette in the shop, which doesn't really seem like too much of a big deal, since SLB is officially now closed and it would have seemed inappropriate for Jay to interrupt Mort, in order to go talk outside.

 Jay charismatically exhaled through his nose,"Keep your story simple, don't veer from it. If they ask you something that by answering confirms crimination just say 'I can't recall'. . ."

" . . . Where you drinking before the accident? You say 'No'."

"They're gonna ask me why I fled the scene."

"You say you don't remember—you can't recall. You were confused and it was a blur and you walked home traumatized."

"But they'll ask why I didn't stick around."

"The most valuable legal advice is to say 'I can't recall''—there's no way they can tell what's inside your head and that's the beauty of it! You left the scene of an accident where you were intoxicated, which is the best thing you could have done— "

". . . my car just got majorly fucked up and whatever I hit just kept going—I really don't know what happened. . ."

" . . . I've never been so afraid in my life."

"The worst has passed—now it's just dealing with the fallout. Don't lie about alibi—keep your story stripped down and simple and if they ask something dodgy, you say 'I can't recall . . . '"

"I can't recall."

"You can't recall."

After Jay stole Ethan from the kind of dumb company Ed was doing with Valley, Television—Temp  reacts, adapts by really learning how to muse on about the consumer driven art doctrine of western capitalism to such a sudden, unexpected and astonishing degree, to where he was able to practically trick himself into the art world, then concluding with Tempster abruptly leaving the skate game altogether. Within the last year or so for instance, Jay read Temp's 500 Words article blurb in Artforum, written about some Jasper Johns painting—rows of stenciled alphabet letters sequentially ordered to fit and cross paths with other sequential rows—Templeton's statement on how the beeswax painting was a larger comment on the general limitation and constraints of phonetic language, which was all but illustrated by the only word incidentally generated in the grid painting being "no"— Templeton said "Grey Alphabets" also forty years later speaks of the futility and failure of the painting picture plain in general, in what is now mostly a post minimalist, post conceptual global art practice. Temp in some strange way was both praising and vilifying Johns, to where where it was hard to tell exactly where he stod on Johns, and Jay had a feeling that this general attitude posture in some weird and strange way was now Temp's allure in what was catching on like fire as he was now being considered enigmatic by the art crowd. 

And here Jay was now, not pro, unemployable, just let go from a paltry, unfulfilling rep job that supported him enough to just barely get by in some winsomely impractical, elegantly disheveled way, that sometimes actually kind of made him a spectacle like Sarah Bartlet. And it all cumulatively now added even more so great insult to injury, of Jay not ever even ending up with Heather anyways— and as much as Jay is controlled, and reserved, it was still such a kick in the face—reminding him he was not just some soulless apparition construction, unaffected by the loss of irreplaceable love, love which the real outside world seemed so gladly to withhold. What puzzled Jay was, conditions of the environment, fate and how it all met up with his mistakes and strengthens and how it should all play out in real time on the dimension plane. What should be adjusted? Should there be Corrections? What should be left alone? How much could he think about it before it was made even more into calamity?

It wasn't that being pro even mattered now, it was just an opportunity in the past which provided a means to unleash the possibility of experiencing a more fascinating and complex world out there, also a means of experiencing the treasure, some of the hidden fortunes of the world (this of course included the top tier women upon the land to graze upon). Some false future promise of Heather actually inspired Jay to go as hard with Stereo and his roller decking, to where he was able to further hurdle himself into the possibility that all came with popularity, with American success. But now, he must create a new reality for himself, devoid of Heather and just move forward—that would have been great and all too, and you know, it's not like Jay hasn't ever made attempts in the past to do such. 

The thing is though, after Stereo imploded, the consolation prize women whom Jay deceived himself into pretending were a viable substitute for Heather, only now too rejected him—as if they knew subconsciously that he didn't really want them. There was no place for Jay to lay, and this certainly seemed true in every sense. At least at Skatemental, Jay could still pay the rent in his small rent controlled apartment, plot his next move—some move not necessarily attached to skating.

Sure, Patras co-opted the subway rain drum beating of plastic bucket by poor city-son as Stereo's affirmative action and inclusivity take—though, which if you think about it, basically helped make Jay's celebration of white supremacist utopia of segregation architecture grandeur, Betty Page swastikas upon garter, swastika switchblade, Jensen Interceptor, BMW motorbikes and cars and genes of German engineering that the more bearable—Jay's intro in Visual Sound, basically a poster of Hitler youth idealism—like, the riding a bike in Golden Gate Park, reflecting the same white supremacy which founded (or rather taken over) San Francisco—and if you would upon casual remark, take such assertion skeptically, then you mustn't know much about America, really. Think of white man's burden logic: they can keep the Spanish name, while we rule the settlement as conciliation prize—a clever trick no doubt. Pastras was an almost unconscious bi-product of this logic by the brand —not that Stereo was being consciously racist or even aware of such marginalization they were subconsciously reflecting (Stereo wasn't racist at all)—it was just still affixed in the country's subconscious nevertheless, and as well, incidentally, inevitably permeated into Stereo brand's dna as white narrative rules the narrative of the world (and cosmos). Give the Jew first part, give Ethan curtains. What does that say? In actuality, it really doesn't say anything though, but is still interesting to think about—remember though,  Ethan still on a lark filmed the superior part, it's not like Paulo even bothered to knock out a full part in only the weeks Ethan had. And Daher was Daher after all—a human wrecking ball—a more than perfect fit for first part, anyways.

But then again . . .

 . . . Shippy with backwards Notre Dame hat, his Blair Witch Project intro and outro, imagine torn oxford bespoke, or English racing heritage. Shippy, he—a certain type of cultural import himself, and quite some exemplary agent at that, he like some embassy ambassador, maybe even like a younger version of Jay—but with a sort of college basketball vibe; he, still with the more teched out Etnies, still had louche push upon blacktop behind that Raul Wallenburgh school. The jazzy bombast of the music in his part (best part of song—switch back one eighty the downhill bump on Pine and Kerny, k-flip the gap at DNV) said that with Shippy's frame, his steely good looks, his general approach to problem solving resolve of panache by which he confronted, dealt with the street situations he so willingly put himself into (and by which, for that matter, not to mention, the scores of video watching kids who were even more than eager to track down the rare video tape cartridge documentation of such situations to behold) all but excused any drunken night time escapades, boozy shenanigans at say, the apartment off Steiner, or at say the Kilowatt, or anywhere else the city nite would seemingly, randomly dictate.

Jay's Visual Sound skating in SF had regressed a bit, to a certain point of refinement when he moved there though—if you don't know how one must adapt to such unforgiving city terrain, then you don't know Stereo, really. Frisco wasn't like LA—things just didn't come all too easy and when Jay first moved to the city, his natural response was to adapt by focusing on maximizing, trying to push out his baseline as far out as possible. This, in a way that focused on the small details of tiny maneuvers, which would have to be mastered, brick and mortar in order to climb to some type of city virtuosity. The thing being was how it was all so tough—and how you negotiated that, well that was your brand. It was so that which Jay's focus of increasing his lowest common skill tasks, made him never quite get around to the virtuosity standardized like say by some Plan-B riders in Frisco, the vertiginous virtuosity which he should be ostensibly working towards. Ethan still was a virtuoso though, but he didn't spend two years working on his part (so by this logic he did still retain a bit of slacker methodology)—Paulo for sure could have knocked it all out of the park and then some (but didn't) and besides since Paulo was in LA, it seemed like he was never really down with, nor was interested enough in Stereo's practice of progressive dignified regression—Paulo just kind of didn't get it.  His failure in having his own section may not have attracted the nihilist virtuosity seeking kids who favored that above all else, which maybe would have expanded the brand, but that didn't even seem to matter now much in hindsight.

Still though, Jay maybe should have pushed it a bit harder, not slowed down or ever stopped. True, his responsibilities and role of running Stereo brand grew from that of him just being independent contractor pro, who previously only had to garner media in the easy schools of LA to then becoming full brand director and producer now, plus envelope pressing pro in a city where the terrain was hard, and the women ever so harder. There were never no kicky back tails Brown Marble. No nose bunts on any of the numerous marble benches lining Market Street (a trick Jay never really learned, even though Guy at one point in time was more than happy to show them to him). What about trying to k-flip the Wallenburg three, tre flip Fort Miley? No Video Days feebles carried off to maritime town. It was just more bottles of wines at the editing studios though, more celebratory whiskey shot rounds for the team at the Kilowatt of course, not going to MOMA perhaps as much as he should have, but spending blissful night hours in the darkroom developing all the still photography for VS at Art Institute for free—as there, he knew a kid, Eric, who ran the lab, who kinda used to skate, who was still remarkably in tune with current skate stuff and was all but down to let Jay have access to such hip, state of the art facilities.

If this was It's A Wonderful Life, this would have been the part where, instead of staying in Bedford Falls with the Credit Union and Mary, George travels to all the exotic places he talked about, becomes captain of industry, sees the world and perhaps this would also be where he would pay the piper with his wedding ring. Mary though, damn sure as hell wasn't going to wait around while pie eyed George lassoed the moon. Not that this was how it was between Jay and Heather (because really, Jay had probably if you think about it, never really actually had a real chance with Heather), but this was still a narrative in his head he conveniently liked to keep in regards to her—some delusion, this at the edge in Jay's mind where logic stopped, where Jay and the universe ended (as the universe didn't have just one end, but infinite edges everywhere—both conceptual and actual).

Girls like Mary, or Heather or Sigourney or Mildred or Rooney never just wait around. Because girls never wait around, and although you may think you are the co-star in the movie adaptation to the movie of the woman of your heart's desire's life, you aren't so much an extra, especially when you're in another town, especially when you never talk on the telephone, especially when it concerns women of this magnitude. And if you think their celibacy is a common goal, then that also just goes to show how little you know.

Ninties Frisco  . . .

 Cured vulc half-cab nihilist Airwalk - 

construct seductive material.  

 in the middle of a work day at downtown spot, 

when you should only say to yourself: "If this isn't nice, then what is? 

Though there would always be consolation prize girls trolling about at Kilowatt hour and they were all too easy to come across, especially when the bar knew you were on a team—they would rarely (if ever) be of the same imperial magnitude of what Jay needed and that's what really still hurt—a hurt that must somehow, be cast outward onto immediate environment, perhaps maybe attempted to be reconciled somehow by successions of mindless successful deck tasks, fireball shots.

Jay and Mort locked up, retired down the street to pseudo surf rock bar, Wahoos, because after such a cataclysmic event of blacking out and putting one self and others in un-nesessary danger, there was really nothing else to do but drink—there was nothing else for a chap to do but race to the bar, like getting drunk during a breakup—three shots, two beers and one felt okay—anesthetic. Heartbreak was real similar to coke, and worse—but nonetheless in such situation, alcohol was at it's most useful.

Wahoos was kind of like a younger, more upwardly mobile clueless, basic crowd. Though because skaters went there a lot, mostly out of location convenience—it kind of became known as a skater bar, even though it was mostly jeep guy. It's not like they played Buzzcocks at Wahoos—mostly it was Marcy Playground.

Tonite they were having some kind of magazine launch party, for a magazine that had yet to be printed—but they did though, print up tiny card stock flyers,which announced that the zine was coming out next month, scattered all over the bar and floors—like anyone would actually give a shit enough to put that on their calendar. It was amateur hour with the DJ also, as they played Spiderman is eating me Tonite not once, but twice that night—no doubt a rookie move—and oh, what such half assed event, on half assed night, like all so much in Los Angeles and California.

Mort knew a few people there, as it was obvious when they first stepped in. Some generically hot, but still super desirable girl (mostly because of her youth and skinny legs) who it seemed like Mort kind of knew, walks by—she pretty much the complete epitomization of the opposite of hip, but her generically hot looks easily over rode any hipness requirement by all the yahoos and everyone else in LA, who all but lined up in her life and went so far out of their ways to enthusiastically encourage all  generic lifestyle decisions.

Mort said out loud wackly to himself he wanted to "fuck her", while another ghastly tune filled the room, and there was no way she could hear Mort—Mort all seemingly a bit unaware of how unoriginal such a statement sounded out loud—that yeah, that's nice and all you want to fuck her Mort—good for you! But Mort said it with a certain automatic naive audaciousness, which at first Jay thought was kinda clueless, but then the more he thought about it, the more he reckoned Mort was actually probably in his own way most likely to pull wool in such mind state.

Mort went to talk to some kids for a while, while Jay just chilled at the bar—as at the skate shop or anywhere else skate related, Jay was probably given too much attention—now the last thing he would want to do is awkwardly stand next to Mort, or trying to cut his way into some conversation or just stand there with a certain neediness—in LA sometimes it really didn't matter who you were (especially among younger clueless crowd)—now Jay was content with just drinking beer and reading the television.



He could still taste a bit of resign that flew into his mouth, landed on his front tooth from smoking a crumb of chronic out of a Coke can that morning before he Jay went to Sal's. You would think being an everyday pot smoker for the last twenty years plus, Jay would have ammassed some paraphenalia, but Jay still just out of laziness, out of some dumb habit, still used the damn Coke can. Jay imagines resign clinging to the back nub of the broken molar in the back of his mouth and it was disgusting, but he had gotten so used to it and over the last couple of months kinda obsessed over it.

Jay had thought about Heather again. The universe was still a busy busy place. Proximity played a role in everything most of the time. But the reality was that although maybe some stuff about them may have been nice in his eyes, there were also a few things that just weren't right—the basics had been fouled up, there was too much water under the bridge to ever get her back. There was a momentum between them that had become so blackened, that no current conduct could turn things around and about. Yeah, and there was also the business of him having had told her to leave him alone, but that was all kind of a bluff—he said it for affect, just to get a point across, but at the same time, part of him was really hurt and he may have felt the need to say it to protect himself. Heather sure as hell didn't miss a beat though, was able to over compensate to his request, didn't hesitate to cut bait not one bit. 

It was all a buyer's market after all anyways—they always had more than enough options to be distracted by, always more than enough around everywhere and always, like most gravitate towards the closest pop tart sharing shlub to cater to their lazy, undisciplined thinking. Most girls weren't looking for a counter part—they were far too competitive—some had to be the good looking one, some couldn't be the one out shined. And the hotter they were, the worse it tended to get.

A little later people leave and Mort comes over, sits with Jay at the bar, ordering another.

"Wanna do a bump?" Asks Mort, it now obvious why he was hanging out with such unlikely companions—they united by illicit narcotic.

"Naw—shit man, I'm cool on that."

"Well, I got some here, if you change your mind," Mort says a little overly enthusiastically, confirming he had already indulged.

Jay had only had three beers and for once, he actually didn't feel like getting totally sloshed, as if entertained enough by his' and Morts convo there—then also buzzedly figuring it was best tonite to maybe go back to the office and clear his stuff out, while no one was there.

Talking to wired Mort made Jay feel wired also, but they were still having excellent convo with such prattling on.

"The industry will bro you into bankruptcy . . ."

"Pro deckn' is the biggest scam ever . . . "

"Minor is career killer . . . "

Jay left Mort at the bar, found his way back to the Volvo parked behind SLB, pulled out onto the broken boulevard and headed northeast, towards the Skatemental offices off Katella. There was blood on the streets in Los Angeles, blood on the tracks everywhere. Not much on the land was all too fair, and despite sometimes even having the facts right in front to discern, people were still constantly confused—this, the fog of war, the fog of LA. Women could make a hundred pennys to the man's dollar—but it was very doubtful they would ever compensate by ever forfeiting any biological advantage they possessed—you know, to level the playing field in all areas. Like say, if there was a village of a thousand men, with twenty women—you could be certain your friends would have slept with your wife many times over and you should then be damn thankful for anything you got—by female logic: you should be so lucky to be cuckholded. Well, that was LA now basically, but worse. Beautiful women gravitated to the city and would climb as high on the human shit pile ponzi pyramid as they could—a rigged sexual economy. And look at how none of these young hot newbies even knew now what Stereo ever was for instance—how Stereo was at one time actually the hippest Paul's boutique brand ever. There were no top tier women exactly falling over Jay right now. They were all but too busy listening to Gin Blossoms.

Jay rolled into the parking lot (or the rape lot, as it was sometimes referred to by Meagan and some of the other roller staff) and already missed, actually kind of longed for his old job back, but also, at the same time, you know, he was well just so fucking over it. There were sometimes, maybe, actually some nice parts to the mental though—for instance, like Daniel in the warehouse. Daniel, who, always brought with him an austere blue collar Chicano Angelino calming reassurance—like, for instance, no matter how low on the social rung Castillo (Daniel) may have been, he was never the type to get too bummed or ever dwell on anything too much, like how he was just always so super chill about it all. Say, the calmness he would radiate when he would walk to the warehouse door opening, pull out a bent cigarette in comfortable weariness and just have a cigarette in the middle of the day, all in chill resignation, as if in some grown up detention—and not to mention how he was always never not just always super entertaining to talk to or just shoot the breeze with—Daniel, never at all too terribly impressed by anything in the skate realm, as so he had been witness first hand to too much of it's wackness—for instance, Daniel knew Koston was the biggest douche bobble head in the industry—and it was hilarious how Matt in the warehouse would always challenge Daniel by showing him Koston's latest coverage and how Daniel just never gave a fuck about itDaniel would always just be like "Ah, I'm cool on that . . ."

 But it was like Jay's bad habit of always staring at Meagan's married jeaned ass way too much at the office also—in a way, all this was kinda like a really tech flip trick unto itself, a flurry of small gimmicks of convenience, all along to kinda justify Jay to himself to remain at the Skatemental, a place that really all along, well under valued him after all, sabotaged whatever he did or didn't do and then they should just eventually all even let him go like they did, all cut him from the squad, just like that, out of their own audacious ignorance, mental's misguided hubris and Reese was a fucking idiot. 

Jay opened the back door, ran in, punched the pad on the wall not too far away, which was re-assuring they didn't change the code, because it would have been such a hassle and not to mention a total major bummer after all, if say, the cops came and then he would be kinda further mildly humiliated, when the only reason he decided to get his things in the middle of the night, in the first place, was to avoid any more damn second hand, first hand embarrassment, which would have naturally come with actually coming in during mental office hours—like, while the rest of the staff was there and all.

But they just didn't get it, would never get it, Jay thought, as he walked through the daytime torture chamber that was now innocently darkened office. Jay could hear the ice cubes drop in the freezer in the break room fridge, as if the ice maker was fulfilling the most removed periphery duty in the after hours margins of the mental's economy cog.

 It was like the Captain Kangaroo hat Jay had in his cubicle for instance, which he randomly found at the thirft store, which he had been specifically thinking about collecting, since thinking about getting his things tonite—and Meagan just looked at him that time, like he was a fucking idiot for bringing it to the office that one day, the—hiscaptain put-put skateboarding roller hat. But you know if say, for instance, Meagan's stupid husband, Donnel, would have worn it, if he had had it, you know Meagan would have practically been in hysterics.

Right when Jay got to his cubicle, he realizes he needs to find a box to put his skate knick knacks and  turns around to go back towards the copy room and then the phone on his desk ominously rings. Jay decides best not to answer.

Jay returns and decides to take the things he wanted and the rest of the stuff, to hell with it—let them clean up his mess. The phone inconveniently rings again. Jay listlessly stares down at the blinking plastic square from the incoming line, then at the last moment after what he thought was the last ring, finally picks up the receiver, part out of curiosity but mostly as a way to tell himself he tried to answer it, while the other part of him was fully aware that he deliberately picked it up when he thought it was too late.


"Ay—you normally keep such odd office hours?"


"I said, I was surprised I caught you, because it's late . . ."

"Who's this."

No response on the line, signaled frustration on the other end. Jay actually really realized who it was, but even though he knew this—he also felt necessary to feign not acknowledging it was Temp, part because of anxiousness, another, maybe because of some lost familiarity, and also maybe in Jay's mind, it would make Jay seem less pathetic, even though in actuality—in reality, it really didn't matter. But it was Templeton who had divorced himself from the whole scene, drifted away, was off to better things, after all. And what, he thought he could just audaciously waltz back with a phone call in the middle of the night? There was a heaviness about the larger than lifeless about Temp also, which was too much of a burden to take sometimes. Ed knew this though, but it still sucked that Jay pretended he didn't know it was Temp, he immediately felt real lame for it.


"Temp. That you . . . "

"But, whom else?"

" . . .  wrong number, dudemiester?"

"What you want Temp?"

"I heard you got um . . . I heard about, what should we call it . . . um, your predicament."

"Ah yeah, well, fuck it. "

"Honestly, I don't even care by now, man," Jay pauses to look for his cigarettes, "It's all kind peculiar actually . . ."

"  . . . it's real funny . . . anyways . . ." 

"How you find out  . ." Jay cracking his knuckles, continues apprehensively.

"Brad . . . "

"Yeah, man. Fuck . . . ," Jay, productively scanning for items on his desk to take with him, then gives up, just sits down and grabs his grip tape wheel roller to fuss with.

"Yeah, this order got botched up somehow.  I don't care about it anymore. . . "

" Well, I might be able to help you out . . ."

"Help me out with what?"


"Oh, well, like I said, I seriously couldn't care less by this point. Let them rot in the warehouse for all I care by now ha ha ha . . . "

"Larry's been spending time with Tinterow, yes. You see, Met's trying to expand with what little they have along the lines of contemporary work . . .  They've been real adamant about just showing like, you know, mostly modern and everything, and like anything before that, but because with current trends with other museums in NY pushing for contemporary, they're kinda now forced to reluctantly follow their new lead."

"Really don't feel like hearing about Larry right now, Temp . . ." Jay, concentrating too much on rolling the roller on the surface of what used to be his credenza.

"Just listen, this is actually kinda interesting, it could be very um . . . um, very, cool!"

"Yeah, well, so anyways, he's surprisingly has gotten close with the purse with which controls Trustee Acquisition Comittes's cash flow . . . "

"Like, what they use to, you know, to purchase works for the museum et. all . . . " Ed Continues.

"Anyways Larry, was able to slide in as some liaison, using his influence to coordinate a lot of works from private collector homies of his, to like, loan out to the Met au gratis. They'll have their name on the wall and get a lovely tax break. So, this frees up more funds for Tinterow to use, and since Larry was the, um, pimpsta in getting all this free prod for the museum, such funds should naturally, um, go towards acquiring other works suggested vis a vis Gagosian cadre."

"And . . ."

"And nothing. Basically, I agreed with Brad to purchase that pallet of your, um . . . self promotional tools shall we say? And then I'm going to place them in the gallery a la Yan Vo or something, even though Vo's kinda totally wack, or I don't know like Stienback? Um,  like Stienback kinda, but you know, like, hipper."

"Why my decks? I mean, not to argue with me being inside a museum, but this?"

"I don't know, it's kinda hip, no?"

Ed continues after pausing, "I just want to have all my bases covered, that's all . . ." 

" . . . and don't you think it's kinda a funny project, a funny idea?" Continues Tempster.

"I thought you were recording ghosts at Stanford or something . . . "

"That's all done babes! I want to do something looser now, fun, a return to something, I really don't know, it all kinda comes full circle with the deck readymades though in a way. Don't you think? Plus the story behind it could be . . . I don't know, for lack of a better term, interesting?"

"Well, that's great and all Temp. I mean, I'm happy your career is going so smashingly, but I currently have a little cash problem. My accountant says my accounts lack some kind of liquid-ness, it's all stopped up there, something is apparently not flowing."

"  . . . and my career just committed suicide. . . " Jay says finally.

"Naturally we should pay you a modest commission, a finders fee so to speak . . . or hell you're a consultant here! These are going to be in the collection briefly, and then hopefully go on tour, then deff try to get them sold at auction for some exorbitantly inflated price. The museum, me, Larry come out on top of course, and you will be compensated generously. I can give you, I don't know, twenty clams?"

Jay pauses putting everything together Temp just said.

 " Oh, dang . . . that actually sounds kinda cool  . . . "

"Hellziahsss! "  

"Man, sounds like such a racket, but . . . " 

"Sounds cool!" 

"No, it's totally a racket, totally cool!" .

"It's like a rigged economy, ya know!" Ed, reinforces."No, yeah, totally rigged!"

"Ez money!"

"The best kind!"

"No, now that I think about it, I actually think this will be really tight, man! This windfall could also give me some chill time, plot out my next move, ya know . . ."

"No, totally! That's what I'm saying! Also you're in a museum now! Well, it's technically my work though. I mean, don't you think that's kinda cool though?!"

"No, no yeah, totally . . . that does actually sound really cool, actually . . ."

"May piss some people off hopefully?"

"Shit's just been so messed up for a minute, ya know? I mean with me." 

"No, I know dude . . ."

"I mean I was just hanging on for survival for a whiles—doing the worst work, just to live. I mean this isn't me, ya know? With all the wackness I assisted in, kinda cancels out anything tight I ever did with Stereo, if you think about it."

"Life happens. Unfortunately, you can't be cool forever, dudemiester! You kinda don't get to decide how cool you are anyways, it's up to your environment to bestow it upon you, in a way. Besides, you can always be cool again—maybe now even cooler now!"

"Woah. Sounds like it. I don't know what to say Temp. I mean shit, man . . ."

"Well, I know we haven't been too terribly close over the last few years, but I been mad busy, yo. I had to do my thing, ya know? Kinda had to divorce myself from the whole shit and just do this . . ."

"No, I understand . . ."

"How's Deanna?" Asks Jay, finally, because it had been on his mind.

"Deanna? Well, Deannas still, let's say, Deanna is still Deanna . . . " Temp, tentatively.

"Yeah . . . "

"So what, how you going to purchase the decks? Maybe Reese will get suspicious of something cooler than him and then not relinquish. . . "

"Oh, no worries, I went through Brad. Brads handling it all."

"Oh. . ."

"Anyways, before I wire you cream, and before I actually have the decks in my possession, just keep this close to your chest for now. Keep it on the down low . . ."

"Deff "

Jay hung up the phone in what was the last deal he negotiated at Skatemental. But you couldn't even really call it a deal, nor did he even have to negotiate. It was now more than just some transaction of commerce type colab. It was also more than just an old friend hooking another up. It was a lot to try to attempt to wrap his head around, and the world again now seemed to open up and say "yes". Jay might never wrap his brain around such mystery, and may remain superstitious. Jay also feared if he knew the mystery it might unravel the very thread of existence. Temp did kind of have a point when he said, one's environment determines how hip someone is, though. As long as Jay had been waiting and waiting for something to break on through, now that it was finally happening he felt nervous, but it was a good nervous. Jay wondered if he would be required to pay taxes on the rough trade deck dough. This is what the game is like, thought Jay to himself.

Jay walks down the hall to get to the parking lot to go home, spots Brad in the hallway.


"Brad! What up man!"

"Brad, I just talked to Temp!"

Brad walks up to Jay, pie-eyed, Jay couldn't tell if it was really Brad or just an act.

Brad says nothing, says "Atascosita," continues walking down the hall like a lost ghost.


About Me

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Houston, Texas
Be kind, because everyone you'll ever meet is fighting a hard battle.