Showing posts from November, 2022

…with our beans baked… (Part V)

Down here, in the men’s room, amongst all the other pissing peckers, there’s a jolly fat guy standing before a urinal. He’s shirtless; his shirt’s slung over his shoulder. Why? I don’t ask. Every other guy parked in front of a urinal is taking aim with one hand, sipping plastic cupped beer with the other. Of all the public pissing situations I’ve found myself in, this one gets the medal for Most Jovial. Call it a Friday Night Frat House Kinda Vibe. And what’s this ephemeral fraternity’s mantra? “Yeah, Megadeth!” One shouts it, everyone around repeat-shouts it. You’ve never seen so many smiles in a men’s room full of heterosexuals.  I shake out my own warclub, pull up the maroon boxer briefs, button the blue button flies, buckle the brown belt, pass the doorless shit-stalls, and round the corner toward the sinks. There’s this tall, buzz-cut headed guy. He’s got a white plug in one ear, Secret Service style. It’s attached to a coiling wire running down the side of his neck and disappear

...with our beans baked... (PART VI)

So, my hands are washed. At least, they are, in a physical sense.  Pushing through the crush of metalheads, I pray that some brilliant way out of this clusterfuck will present itself. Up in the lobby, nobody is Ernie and nobody else is Officer Undercover Buzzcut.  Here I am, part of me soaking-in the Riv, soaking-in this swarm of humanity here to blow out their eardrums, and, most of me, praying for a call from Ernie. Though, if he’s only allowed one phone call, it shouldn’t be to me—especially if he’s going to jail. My phone’s in my hand on vibrator mode just in case. No way could I hear its ring over the din of geared-up metalheads.  The Riv’s main lobby and mezzanine foyer, both of them, their speluncar. Above the bit-too-snug basement-level restrooms (a curiosity, unless bladders and bowels were bigger or more durable a century ago, or folks were generally smaller), the Riv’s just one yawning cavernous chamber feeding into another. Everything about the walls and ceiling and stairca

...with our beans baked... (Part VII)

I keep calling Ernie and Ernie keeps calling me and we keep losing each other until I find several display bars of strength, downstairs, at the base of the steps that wind up from the Riv’s foyer.  Ernie tells me he got busted and now he’s waiting for what’s next. His deflated voice says, “Go enjoy the concert.” But I’m staying put by these lobby doors, waiting for what’s next. I tell him, call me when he knows.  Two minutes later, Verizon shudders in my palm. Ernie tells me, “Enjoy Megadeth.” Because, they let him go.  “Your punishment is,” Officer Buzzcut told him, “you don’t get to see Megadeth.”  Whatever Ernie’s gonna do with the rest of the night, he doesn’t know.  “Go,” Ernie repeats, “enjoy Megadeth.”  This much is clear: the right guy is on the wrong side—the outside—of the Riv.  More than I’m here for music, I’m here for architecture.  It’s Ernie who’s spent the last month psyching himself up for this concert.  His voice through my phone keeps telling me to go watch it, go en

...with our beans baked... (Part VIII)

Understatement: Ernie is bummed.  “Megadeth, Maaan…” or,  “We missed Megadeth…” or,  “I can’t believe we missed Megadeth, man…”  The rest of this night,  when his mouth’s not full of diner food,  beer,  or pot smoke,  this is how Ernie compares to a broken record.  And I broken record right back at him,  “At least you’re not in jail…” or,  “Dude, you’re not in jail…” or,  “You could be in jail right now, dude…”  Or, “You got more pot?”  Because this was my night to indulge. Going back to the western ‘burbs, yes, there’s more pot. Only, out there, there’s nothing to do; no one we know. Staying here, he’s still got stuff in the car, but not much. Staying here, it’s the city— everything’s goin’ on. The trouble’s finding it. Which is easier for some than for others.  Things, they don’t happen to me.  They happen around me.  I live life after-the-fact.  Whatever that means.  We end up at Diner Deluxe. We end up there twice tonight. My first Diner Deluxe dinner consists of an omelet, bisc