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Thug Life – My First Teardrop Tattoo

This is Part 1 of a 2 Part series.

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By sixth grade, Tammy called herself my “best friend.” Befriending my lead bully seemed like a good idea at the time. In hindsight, it ended up being the pre-Facebook way to guarantee that I’d be bullied not only at school, but in my own home. Who needs technology when you have stupidity?

Tammy’s after school visits were horrifying on many fronts, but the most painful part was when she brought her little brother over – who I will refer to as Crack Head Bob, (CHB).

CHB had what doctors referred to as Hyperactive Disorder, but as far as I could tell he was just an asshole. Dana was in charge of him basically all of the time, since her parents worked swing and he couldn’t be left alone due to the constant flood of Ritalin in his bloodstream. He was essentially my first experience with a tweeker.

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Even when I was a tweeker, I couldn’t stand tweekers.

Dana adored her brother. Why? I will never know. I’m no doctor, but I think Quaaludes would’ve faired much better with young Bob than Ritalin. He would do precious things like chew on my parent’s furniture so we had to play outside whenever they came over, lest CHB eat my parent’s entire house.

Relegated to the front porch, I endured gladiator-esque battles of Whack-a-Courtney. Dana vacillated between terrorizing me, hitting me, and being scary sweet to me, while out of nowhere, CHB would just straight-up sucker punch me. While Dana kicking my ass was embarrassing, having a 10-year-old beat me up brought a whole new level of humiliation to my plight. It didn’t help that Dana laughed her fat ass off whenever he slugged me.

This went on and on. I felt like I was trapped in one of Dante’s Nine Circles of Hell – the bully Circle. If I told her she couldn’t come over after school, she would force me to go to her house, where there wasn’t even the safety of any parents nearby. I felt stuck in an eternal hell of bullying. I had to take action. Drastic action.

Yes, someone had to die.

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That someone was either going to be Dana or me. I quickly decided the death would be hers.

So I did what any amateur murderer does, I hatched a plan.

First, I needed a murder weapon. I waited until the witching hour of 8:15pm, at which point both of my parents were fast asleep, then scoured the house for instruments of bully destruction.

Mom’s art studio was the first stop. Paintbrushes? Maybe the really skinny ones could work as a knife, but then why not just use an actual knife? Now I had two weapon ideas! There was a stack of firewood by her wood-burning stove. I could bash her head in with a log. Now I was up to three and hadn’t even cleared one room – I was turning out to be a fine murderer indeed.

In the back room, there stood Mom’s band saw. I knew how to turn it on and everything, but it would require me to:

  1. Get Dana in the back room.
  2. Find a reason to turn it on.
  3. Murder her with it.

Number three was the issue. The blade only allowed about a foot of murdering possibility, and then what would I do? Cut off her hand? That would only make her stronger and angrier. In my mind, she had horror movie monster powers. I couldn’t just stab the shark; I had to blow it up.

The only other viable option in the studio was a matte knife, which is basically a razor with a handle. Now a razor could fuck a bitch up, but it felt like too much work. I wanted to get in and get out and be done with it.

I knew the answer was in the kitchen, after all, Mom would notice right away if her matte knife or paintbrush went missing, but a frying pan? She wouldn’t notice for weeks.

I needed a weapon that would lead to immediate death. While I was enjoying the notion of beating her head in with a frying pan, I had teeny tiny beetle arms. Did I have enough power to kill in one stroke with toothpick arms? Not a risk I was willing to take.

This also ruled out our 800,000 pound marble rolling pin. If circumstances warranted, I could kill the hell outta someone with that thing. That is, if I could actually pick it up and get it over my head and then not fall all the way over backwards.

Another grim reality sunk in – clean-up duty would be all mine. It’s not like I could ask Mom to grab a mop. If I murdered Dana in my house, I’d have to clean it up and get rid of her ugly fat body, which would prove very difficult.

Damn, this killing business wasn’t easy.

 

 

White Lines – The Eight Ball

This is part four of a four part totally awesome blog. Fell behind? No problem. Just go here:White Lines, The First Line and The Second Line and then The Teener.

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Then the door opened. It was Debbie. And the candy! I was so relieved to see them – I mean, her.

“Is he out there?” I asked, hoping she knew.

“Are you gonna order?” the guy behind the register asked Debbie now, already knowing my answer. I already knew her answer. We had to explain or get out.

The interesting thing was not that we actually told him that some scary child rapist was chasing us, but his complete lack of reaction. Like this was an everyday occurrence at Taco Hut or something.

“We’re closing in thirty minutes,” was all he said as he started to mop.

We hid in a hard cold booth of the take-out restaurant variety, not the comfy rad variety like that of Denny’s, probably because they want you to actually TAKE-OUT not stay for five hours chain smoking for the price of one cup of coffee and making art towers out of empty creamer containers.

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After a five-minute play-by-play recap, the realization hit us. It was Friday night and we hadn’t TOUCHED a piece of candy yet. This realization was not spoken; it was addict-mind-trick spoken through brain waves. Where any two or more people deep in addiction are together jonesing, this is the norm. We can speak the unspeakable with our minds.

Side note: Ritual is an integral part of drug usage. For most addicts, the ritual of using is multi-faceted: scoring, holding, preparing, and using. If any of these components are compromised, the high can suffer. I like to call this “super-addict-stition.”

Whoever establishes the ritual is as follows:

  1. Whoever’s holding.
  2. The Elder who brings the newbie under his or her wing.
  3. People who party together may merge rituals or form new variations of each ritual, as long it’s copacetic.

There was no hierarchy in our underground network of transplants, but there was a strict class structure when it came to getting high. The bottom line was devout respect for the other user’s ritual because the ultimate party foul was fucking up another person’s high.

Yet again, I did some math:

  1. Debbie was holding = Debbie’s in charge of score.
  2. She was the Elder = Debbie’s in charge of score.
  3. We merged rituals somewhat with the subtraction of banana and the doubling of funds, but the location of scoring, the act of piling, and horror movie watching were all ritual B.C. = Debbie’s in charge of score.
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One of our Friday night faves.

We sat across the table from each other mind melding. My mouth started to water. Candy filled my senses. I ached for sugar. I knew she did too.

“Let’s go,” she said as she rose, without even checking outside for eagle decaled cars.

I knew better. We should wait longer. He could just be out there lurking in the old bushes waiting for our young bushes to come bounding out of Taco Hut’s door all innocent and candy-eyed. I considered bartering with her to stay another 15 minutes and eat some candy there, but I knew it would fuck up both of our highs and perhaps our friendship.

My thirst for sugar became stronger than my thirst for survival. We booked it the half block more to her house and made it back safe. Who knew what happened to GP and who cared. We were onto the next thing.

Immediately, and with not one word, we devoured ten bucks worth of sugar to the sound of naked chicks getting slaughtered. Candy fixed everything. We went into sugar comas and woke up with unrelenting hangovers. We did this every Friday night for the next two years.

The Grody Pedophile incident was only the third time I used with Debbie and it didn’t stop me one bit. The Slippery Slope Theory is just a speculation, but from less than a year after moving to Sparks I’d already gone from smoking to porn to sugar. And this was only the beginning.

. . .

Thanks for reading, gorgeous! Stay tuned – next Monday will be another new vlog. If you missed my last vlog, click here. 

White Lines, The Second Line

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The first time I went over to Debbie’s house, it was obvious why she ate. Her mom and dad were both really big and her house was really small. It was rented, not owned, and on a street that was one lane away from having “interstate” in front of it. The sound of cars whizzing by at German engineering speeds competed with the deafening cry of airplanes landing and taking off at the airport that was mere blocks away.

She wasn’t even zoned for Agnes Risley, but her parents let her switch because she was having huge problems with the bullies in the school for which she was originally zoned. I changed my mind about her parents right away. They cared about Debbie; they were just so poor that they had to move wherever job opportunities presented themselves.

Her dad was a janitor at the school she left. I guess the only thing worse than being a mid-school-year transplant and six-feet-tall was having your dad be the custodian. My empathy grew for Debbie almost as quickly as my pant sizes were about to.

Her parents made me dinner every time I came over. I had liver and onions for the first time there. I actually didn’t know it was liver because I always thought it would be all jello-y wiggly like in the store. I didn’t realize that when it’s cooked it, well, cooks. It was alright, just not good enough to freak out over so much that I’d go so far as do something dramatic like actually eat it again. And I had a layer of grease stuck on the roof of my mouth for about a week.

My first sleep over was on a Friday night that, luckily for me, was allowance night for Debbie. Her dad handed her a crisp five-dollar bill and we were off and running.

“I’m going to show you what I do on Friday night,” Debbie said, mischief beaming out of her dark brown eyes.

I followed her out the front door and onto the practically-a-freeway street. My belly welled up with butterflies. Where was this strange Michegonian taking me? Would guns be involved? Should I have worn two pairs of underwear?

“Where are we goooooooooooiiiiiing?” was muffled by the cars whizzing by coupled with the foot-shorter-I-was-than Debbie. Instead of grabbing a bullhorn and attempting a repeat performance, I hurried my little legs up because that girl hoofed it good. Especially when she was on a mission.

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The alarming chirp-chirp accompanied by the heavy glass doors heaving open, Debbie introduced me to my soon-to-be-favorite-place in the world, the Sev. At least that’s what we tweens-trying-way-too-hard-to-be-cool called it long before the word tween was even a glimmer in the American vernacular’s eye.

 

My love of the Sev was so serious that every single dream I had for an entire year featured a 7-11. Besides simply being a sweet-ass convenience store, the Sev contained a world of consumeristic possibilities from cigarettes to tampons to No-Doz to Slurpees.

She sprinted to the candy aisle and practically lay down on the shiny fluorescent-lit floor.

“Pick out five dollars worth of anything on this bottom shelf. I like everything so I’ll let you pick.”

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Everything I learned in math class came into play. On the bottom shelf were all of the penny candies, which really cost anywhere from a nickel to a dime, but nickel candy sounds about as lame as a dime bag, and are all about as extinct as beepers. Jolly Ranchers were three for five cents. Tootsie Rolls were five cents apiece. Ring pops, Laffy Taffy, Sweet Tarts, Jawbreakers, and these weird skeleton candies in an actual little coffin were all a dime apiece. Anything with banana was out because I hated banana-flavored things. Banana is about as subtle as rape. It takes over any other fantastic taste with its “hi-I’m-banana-I-suck-because-I-taste-like-ass” taste.

Little beads of sweat formed on my brow. I could tell this could be a pivotal moment in our friendship and I didn’t want to lose a friend. I did the math and tossed candies onto Debbie’s stretched out sweatshirt which she, once full, folded in half to transform into a remarkably crafty go-go-gadget candy pouch. When finished, she strongly resembled a crack kangaroo. She hopped up to the counter and dumped our booty out. We waited in frothing anticipation for the clerk to count out every-single-candy that, of course, equaled exactly five dollars. Yay, awesome math student extraordinaire!

This was the Friday night ritual:

  1. Race back home, giddy with anticipation. No candy eaten in transit, even though we both really wanted to.
  2. Arrive and dump out all the candy onto coffee table.
  3. Put ultra gory horror movie in VCR (yup, they too had a VCR – how was it that only my poor friends had VCR’s?)
  4. Devour all the candy during the movie. One at a time.
  5. Go into full sugar coma.
  6. Rinse. Repeat.

The next morning ill from a gnarly sugar hangover, I devised a way to double our sugar intake for next week. Mom picked me up that afternoon.

“Mom, Debbie gets an allowance of five dollars a week,” I said, batting my eyelashes.

And with that, we doubled our prize money.

The next Friday double sugar coma was so intense I was unsure we would ever recover. Our stomach’s ached. Our head’s ached. We felt death approaching.

We couldn’t wait until next Friday so we could do it again.

Not for a moment did either of us ever consider doing anything different with our 10 dollars. We could’ve gone to the movies, which I’d only been to about two at this time. We could’ve gone to Park Lane Mall and bought fifty pairs of earrings at Claire’s. Each. Or we could’ve bought twenty-five pairs and gone to Sparro for pizza and Cokes.

But no, we were addicts. We saw only candy.

 

 

Schoolhouse Porn! Vlog

I was so inspired by Channel 3 and my memories of MTV in the early-80’s, that I made a mix tape. You should follow it and listen to it while rereading all parts of Schoolhouse Porn! But who am I to tell you what to do? I’m from Reno.

I listened to the mix tape 398 times, but it wasn’t enough. So I spent $4.99 on the iMovie app, put on a ton of make-up and made a music video all on my iPhone. Voila!

PS. I’m really sorry about the singing part…

Schoolhouse Porn! Channel 3.

Not that porn needs to be chronological, but click here for Schoolhouse Porn! Channel 1 and click here for Schoolhouse Porn! Channel 2. Or not. I have no say over how others take their porn. You could be scrolling with your toes right now for all I care. I get it. We all have our – eccentricities.

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Adam Curry appeared on the screen next, his hair more feathered than necessary even for 1983. He introduced what he referred to as a “music video” by Duran Duran.

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The images that appeared on the TV screen were in a completely different league than The Love Boat and Three’s Company. My entire body tingled. I probably blushed. The five guys on the bough of a sailboat singing about some girl named Rio were by far more tantalizing than Mr. Furley. I needed more, immediately. I needed to come over every day after school until the end of time and maybe, just maybe, my desire for men wearing more make-up than most women would be satiated.

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Back when she was chubby.

 

Five hours of Madonna, Michael Jackson, and Duran Duran later, Marie’s mom drove me home.

I don’t know how I even slept that night as my world had been changed forever.

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And he was black.

I went over to Marie’s house every single day from that day on well into 1984. Marie and I were official Duranies. My guy was Nick Rhodes, the keyboardist, and Marie was a Simon Le Bon fan. We would sit two inches from the screen when our boys came on the screen. We spent our allowances on Tiger Beat Magazines and pinned up pictures of our guys all over our rooms. We lived, ate, and breathed Nick and Simon.

That is, until Eve invited me over.

In 1984, only rich people had VCR’s. They were, like, a thousand dollars. Ironically, that’s how Eve seduced me to her apartment after school. She was the poorest kid I knew, so go figure that she was the only person I knew who had a VCR. I’d never even seen one before.

The school bell rang and we ran across the street to her Section 8 apartments. She pulled a shoestring that at one time in its life was white, although hard to believe, with two keys dangling from it from out of her sweatshirt mono-pocket.

“I’m supposed to wear it around my neck, but I don’t,” Eve claimed, with rebel chic. She was a true latchkey kid.

She unlocked the top and bottom locks and we entered her mostly-gray apartment. The smell of Kool cigarettes intermingled with sex filled my senses. Of course, at that time in my life, I only actually recognized the smell of Kools.

“My parent’s work swing-shift so they won’t be home ‘til two-thirty,” Eve said as she jimmied the lock on their bedroom door.

Her mom and mom’s boyfriend were dealers, and by dealer I mean card dealer, not drug dealer, although it wouldn’t have been much of a surprise if they were the latter as well. After all, how the hell did they afford a VCR? The kids with casino worker parents were usually left unsupervised due to the largely nighttime schedules, and therefore made really good friends to have.

The gold Master lock popped open. I wondered why anyone’s parents would lock their bedroom door, but that question was quickly answered. The gray door slid across the carpet-is-too-high-or-the-door-is-too-low tracks from obvious well-thought out craftsmanship that goes into section 8 housing. It made a thick swooshing sound.

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Tune in on Monday to see what’s behind the poorly manufactured door! What could it be? Why on earth did Eve’s parents lock their bedroom door? All of these questions AND MORE will be answered! Will you dare to read on?

 

 

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