Monday, February 6, 2012

You Must Learn to Leave the Table When Love is No Longer Being Served


Jay could feel some thing in his shoulder painfully jerk away as Bastien said in monotone: “What’s come over you.” It was almost as if Bastien was asking the question to himself and he continued pulling Jay off towards somewhere they supposedly needed to be.

Bastien guided Jay past those rows and they all motion smudged behind them like the background of a cheaply produced Hanna Barbera cartoon. Surf Expo booths whirling away from Jay, reminded him of the weathered rectangular billboards that lie off  interstate 101 and he still had no idea where he and Bastien were headed.

Though it was not that nice for Jay to look lead around like that, fortunately none of the spectacle really registered to either of them and the whole damn scene would just melt away, would almost instantaneously vanish from their minds- all forgotten; like those dried bathroom humidity crinkled Transworld magazine ads of Remy Stratton popping inconsequential vertical ollies- those same damn photos that probably only Remy and the credited photographer who took the photos cared about or even ever thought of.

Bourne was giving free Scott tatts over at Powell; as if his body art decision making was something logical, something sensible that should be doled out like that.  But, Jay knew. He knew that those square Powell Peralta logo tats were in fact very dangerous and where surely nothing that should ever be consumed by the public like that. Vallely was over there, with Rocky Norton in a headlock, showing some minor how to supposedly execute such a maneuver, as if what he was demonstrating was something important or even relevant to whatever the zeitgeist of the rest of the Surf Expo was supposed to be. Laban laced up like Devandra - dressed like he belonged to some nomadic clan from Armenia, all dressed like Boulala and Laban was playing a flute in front of an invisible booth with some other friend who was standing next to him with juggling sticks. Laban’s eyes where clenched tightly as he played, as if he was trying to block it all out, while his friend stood their futilely twirling one black stick between two other orange leather sticks. Hosoi and Sumner had their booth too, their version of Christ, as if for some reason Hosoi blowing his career, getting arrested for trafficking crystal meth and going to prison was carte blache for him to start touring and giving advice to impressionably bored young kids who would still never never really care about vert. Greco- that fool, walking around with an unplugged Gibson next to TNT. TNT also a fool, who also superfluously carried around his skateboard, both of them trotting around as if they arrived at a party just for them. Karl Watson holding hands with a different woman, a different woman not his wife, not the same woman featured in his 411 profile, not the same woman mentioned in his Firing Line- not the woman who had his first child, as if being Karl Watson at the Surf Expo allowed and encouraged and paid him to indulge in adultery as public spectacle. Dyrdek walking around like he thought he was a genius. Dyrdek, a physical manifestation of aggressive mediocrity given extraordinary means and using the same extraordinary means to produce extraordinary mediocrity- something for the yokels to cling to, something for the clueless masses to empathze with.  Caballero was playing with a giant Japanamation robot model, wearing a nightmare before Christmas t- Shirt, while his daughter sat next to him looking all disinterested,  bored with all those damn toys, those damn toy machines. Williams trying to compensate for something unknown inside himself by acting extra black. Kalis acting black. Canadian Des Armos acting black. Caine Gaile acting black. Lenny Rivas acting black. Lenny Kirk acting black. Muska acting like a white black guy. Singletons acting like a black black guy. Kevin Taylor acting like a regular black guy. Chris Gentry acting black. Orange County Dill. Danny Way riding around the expo in a fancy go cart that looked like a mini Mini Cooper which had DC stickers stuck all over it, his band La Calavera blasting from the go cart’s speakers. Barrows looking all hung over, talking to some young tall woman with a non- problematic horseface- she looking like some un-attainable giraffe and Jay figured Teddy was the only other person there who was an incidental participant at this something is being forsaken Surf Expo. Fucking Mic-e Reyes arm wrestling someone at the DLX booth, the booth fashioned as a faux bar- avec Spitfire stickers looking like racing logos etched onto the empty martini tumblers,  the tumblers that would probably never really hold any vodka because they couldn’t get a liquor license- the booth with more free cheap beer, more disposable proddy and soon to be instantaneously forgotten posters of all those unmemorable ams, those easy topless dancers with the tassels on their tits- the tattoo laden rockabilly dancers probably captured from Broadway (but looked like they were from the East Bay) and Thiebaud just  clapped at it all,  Thiebaud lamely clapped at Reyes like it was all some sort of major cultural achievement.

Bastien pulled Jay into the Men’s bathroom that was right next to the concession stand and locked the door behind them into the handicapped stall over in the corner.

Bastien sitting on the toilet side ways using the baby changer station as a makeshift credenza, broke out a new baggie which had a dark blue stripe on the zip lock, which Jay also didn’t recognize and Bastien started vigorously chopping lines on the beige baby changer station.

“You know I never slept with anyone except Jannie.” Said Bastien beginning from out of nowhere.

“No, I didn’t.” said Jay brazing his short beard that two days ago stopped being affable stubble, Jay feeling the peppered strands against his fingernails that which also needed to be clipped.

“I thought I told you.” said Bastien desperately, hunched against the baby changer while also paying close attention to building the nose-rails.

“No. You told me a lot of things, but not that.” Said Jay soberly, like he was Bastien’s therapist- someone who knew him, someone who held him accountable.

“No, yeah- that’s what I have to ask you about.”

Bastien took the Euro and rolled it up into a tight semi coned tube and handed it over to Jay, with a serious look on his face invariably reflecting the act as if handing this over to Jay was out of some higher moral duty .

“No really, I’m cool- I’ve had enough.”

“ Just do it!!   Been holding out.  This is the good stuff!  Merck. Pure pharmaceutical nose fluff. Couple of lines, it feels like you’re snorting Styrofoam.”

Jay bent down and put his nose up to the baby changer, blocked off a nostril and took a long slow swipe, making sure every grain was inhaled. It was funny that he felt it was dangerous to do more coke, but he still felt an obligation to make sure no grain was left un sorted. Jay noticed right away it was indeed a good line, probably even better than any actual line he had done during Video Blaze- it didn’t make him gag, he felt a soothing numbness in his teeth immediately.

“But what about the girl back at the hotel?” said Jay twisting the tip of his nose, grunting.

“What about the girl back at the hotel, what?”

“Well, doesn’t she count?”

“No. No. No. That’s like after.”


“You know, Janie told me that the way I was built, I could never make her happy and that that’s simply how she felt, even said it to me like she was really upset. She said it was all  just a matter of measurement.”, Bastien hunched down talking before doing a  "go-to" to his next line.

“Nah…You’re Ok. Theres nothing wrong with you! You look at yourself from above and look foreshortened. Shit, go pick up a magazine and look at yourself and look at the build of the guys youre in the magazine with. God, what a fucking bitch.”

“Fucking , bitch. Bitch wins again.” Said Bastien, dazed staring at the air right infront of him, off at nothing in particular, before he bent down to inhale the Merck.

Bastien brought up his head back up, straightened himself out and continued;“ You would think me being at the height of my rollerboard game trumps whatever  possible power Jannie has. But, it don’t. It’s like Keith and Anita. Ya know she never let Keith marry her, though she still had three of his kids. She was kept by him- but she still would’nt let him marry her. Chicks have all the power.”

“Yeah, well fuck that- Anita Pallenburg was probably some piece of work. She used to live with Brian Jones for Christsakes and that guy was a fucking kook. I bet he used to slap her around their apartment all the time and you know she let him do that. You know she let him get away with it.”

“She may have been clueless and pretty crazy, but I bet she was still pretty damn charismatic.” Said Bastien longingly, with regret.


“Ya know, Jannie cheated on me ya know.”


“Yeah, Pat Gudauskas.”

“Shut up! No way!”



“Messed me up really bad, ya know?”

“Yeah, well dude, fuck that niggah!”

“I couldn’t jack off for a week. Even thinking about sex made me sick to my stomach.”

“Yeah, right- yeah I know, it was like physical. It hurt you physically.”

“Guys rape girls by physically forcing them to have sex with them. Girls rape guys by manipulating the guy into sticking around while they let some other dude fuck them. Which is worse?”

“I don’t know.”

Bastien bent over onto the baby changing station, head down as if he was looking through the cocaine, looking through the baby changer cot, looking through the floor which held both of them, “….it’s fucked.”

“But yeah man, don’t fucking listen to Jannie. Your build is pretty good! Most people would settle for it.”

“Yeah, but why would she even say that!?”

“To put you out of business.”

“”Well, it worked I’m about to be officially out of business.”

“What do you mean?”

“Look, see. There was this new girl,  this one new girl who has been very nice to me back in Lausanne. But even after what Jannie said- “

“Forget what Janie said! Jannie is crazy! Theres nothing wrong with you! Just have confidence and do what the girl wants. Jannie just wants to destroy you!”

“You don’t know anything about Jannie!”  Bastien unfairly snapping back, pouring good for bad.

“All right! All right. Calm down! Look, just let it go at that. Okay?  I’ve just felt that…um….well, look- listen to this. What is it? Okay yeah, think: hear this:”

 Jay intimately  and softly singing back to Bastien “ ‘You must learn to leave the table when love is no longer being served. Just show them that you are able! Just get up and leave without saying a word!’”

“What’s that? Who wrote that?”

“You got me. Roy Orbison or somebody, dunno.”

“Roy Orbison?”

“Naw, I don’t know. Good lyric.”

“Yeah.” Said Bastien with a hint of relief as he again bent over on the baby changer, paused in contemplation, almost touching the Euro up to his nose, the Euro not quite in contact with his humongous nostril.

 “ You must learn to leave the table.” Bastien, dazed, repeated.

“I mean you gravitate toward people who’ve got something to give you and maybe you’ve got something that they need.” Jay then feeling another rush of optimism, that from by what he was saying also combined with the rush of  the Merck really fully kicking in.

Bastien took the swipe, lifted his head up, the sound of his Sky Walker leather jacket  crinkling against itself giving off a cheap immediacy. “Yeah, right?” He said hopefully, confirming what Jay had said.

“And then maybe one day you wake up and see that they’re not givin it to you anymore. Maybe that’s what it is.”

“But maybe you’re not, either.”

“Yeah. Maybe you haven’t been givin it to ‘em for years. Maybe the rhythm’s off.”

“You know I’ve heard this theory that women are rhythmically different from men. By nature.” Says Bastien pepping up a bit.

“Oh yeah? I’ll drink to that.” Said Jay grabbing the Euro out of Bastien’s hand.

“Yeah. That the female rhythm is like side-to- side, like horizontal movement and the male rhythm is vertical, like up and down.”

“You mean sorta like a flying horse?”

“Yeah. Sorta.”

“But then the two come together, don’t they?”


“So they become one rhythm then.”


“So there’s no such things as sides in the long run. It’s all the same.”

“It’s just a theory.”

“Yeah, well you can make a theory outta anything, I suppose.”

“Well, it’s no longer. Janie is gone. Bijou had gone and left. Flip is fucked.” Bastien looking Jay in the eye, “ Ali killed that poor kid, ya know? That poor fucking kid and that’s still not even enough to get him off the team.  I’m off with this. I’m done with this marathon stunt ride once and for all.”

“What, are you like retiring?”

“Fuck that. I’m gonna wander. Be a blues disciple.”

“ God, enough with the Stevie Ray Vaugh shit!”

“Fuck you, Jay!  You don’t understand. I don’ expect you to anyways, but just as skateboarding picked me, I feel bluesology picked me.”

“Bluesologist? Come on.”

Someone banged against the door of Bastien and Jay’s stall and Bastien unflinchingly snapped back,“I’m takin a shit!”, with the  type of conviction reserved for what sounded like the angry truth, though Bastien still had one last line left.

Bastien contined calmly with intent as if he had not just yelled at some stranger on the other side.“All the great songwriters are related, ya know?- a soul family in some way.” , he says- his hand jerking from raking one end of the line in a quick back and fourth motion as it reminded Jay of a white rattle snake shaking it’s tail.

Bastien continued oblivious, “The songs pick you, ya know?.  Like, the music picks you. The main character is the music and it’s been around longer than us and will be here long after. “

Bastien interrupts himself ” Wanna share this line?”

“No….I might Od.” Jay, giving the Euro back to Bastien.

“Have it your way. Hasta La Vista bear!” Bastien bent down towards the baby changer cot, his short dread locks grazing the slightly bevel-molded surface, inhaling the last bit of dust and he scooped his head up fast, melodramatically, with the same accidental way he exposed himself when he incidentally posed out of his tricks.  Bastien, also doing cocaine with that same accidental fake style.


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