Showing posts from December, 2022

With our beans baked… (Part I)

“I had a thing for a stoner girl,” I tell Ernie. “That’s why I tried pot for the first time.” Short and blonde, she was my first college crush. One party, as the pipe was passed around, she kept telling my blushing face, “Stop staring at me!” Sorry, but an eyeful of Tatiana always did more for me than pot ever did. Smoking pot was always some kind of excuse. Ok, sure, it made me feel warm and fuzzy, but never enough to justify the migraine that came later.  And, yeah, sorry, I’ve always been something of a starer.  All that, I tell Ernie in the here and now, as he’s packing weed into his glass pipe. This is in Ernie’s west suburban condo, before we leave for the concert. He’s packing this pipe after rolling three massive… joints, reefers, spliffs? I dunno, don’t ask me. I’m not the expert. When I look at them, I think three wrapped-up Tootsie Rolls on steroids. See, my drug of choice, it’s sugar.  Oh, and, Ernie? Not his real name.  While he’s packing and rolling, I’m playing Tug-Of-Wa

…with our beans baked… (Part II)

It’s jam trafficked all the way into the city.  Pretty much, Ernie’s spent all of this month, all of last month, and half of the month before that gearing up for this concert. He’s been cranking Megadeth’s entire catalogue through his car’s speakers—even all their stuff he doesn’t dig.  He tried to get us dates, too. But the concert sold out before that possibility presented itself. Plan B? Lure a couple of metal-headed babes (already inside the Riv) with pot-baited hooks.  If I’m saying anything, it’s all stupid. (I don’t necessarily mean right-at-this- very -moment. I mean right-at-this-moment in Ernie’s car on the way to the Riv.) And after a while of non-stop Ernie, I realize, and then proclaim, “Pot shuts me up.”  Ernie is definitely not defensive driving into the city. Clearly, he’s missed his calling as a getaway driver. As he casually guns and weaves toward our destination, he volunteers to fill-in movie plot holes. Exempli gratia, with Back To The Future, he explains why Mart

…with our beans baked… (Part III)

Parked, Ernie tucks three over-stuffed joints down his sock, into his shoe. He didn’t tell me the joints were in a plastic baggie, so I had to cope with the ostensibly presumed inevitability of smoking a reefer laced both with sock stink (assuming his socks stank), and maybe a few stray feet hairs (assuming his feet were at least half as hairy as mine). Well, this was, at least for me, supposed to be a night of living dangerously. So bring on the sock stink, the feet hairs! There are way worse things you can press your lips to, right? It’s not like I’m gonna pull a drag off some wild baboon’s ass, am I?  Ernie slams back a beer. Outside, after locking the car doors, he chugs down another one. He leaves the can on the curb. My full bladder saves me from following his lead. Besides, I’m not a chugger. I’m a nurser. My stomach sends back anything it’s forced to accept in haste.  Through darkish, residential Uptown, I’m wincing and walking funny. It’s like God’s giving me a wedgy every

…with our beans baked… (Part IV)

Lemme backup a half two dozen steps…  They’ll stop you for a pat-down in the front entrance vestibule. When you look deeper inside the Riv, you’ll think some fool and his cousin started repainting all the walls at once—and gave up halfway through. Like maybe the fool painter and his cousin both suffered from serious attention deficits. But maybe that’s why they came so cheap. In sooth, I can’t really speak for the fool’s cousin. Lots of folks follow orders without question. Not just the fools. (Or so I’d like to believe.) But maybe all of this patchiness is just the middle of remodeling. One can only hope.  Either it’s all David-Fincher-esque or Terry-Gilliam-esque. I can’t decide. (I’m referring to the general decrepitude.) Whichever, I’m pulled between digging it and grieving it.  Chicago was, once upon a time, the palace theater capital of the country. Your great-grandparents might’ve shared their first smooch in the upper balcony of one of these once opulent venues. Many of the few