Thursday, August 28, 2008

Hurricane Cocktail Recipes

Reposted from that bathroom wall of cyberspace, Myspace... MANDATORY EVACUATION 1 1/2 oz. Absolute Ruby Red vodka 1/2 oz. Vermouth Clamato Prune juice Combine vodka and vermouth in cocktail glass. Fill remainder of glass with equal parts Clamato and prune juice. Stir. Drink. Ask next-door neighbor whose fichus tree blew over and crashed onto your roof - even though you'd warned him for months to uproot it - if you can use his bathroom. Repeat. ============================== CATEGORY 5 1/2 oz. vodka 1/2 oz. tequila 1/2 oz. rum 1/2 oz. bourbon 1/2 oz. gin Sweet-and-sour mix Splash of fruit juice Combine vodka, tequila, rum, bourbon and gin in a tall glass. Fill remainder of glass with sweet-and-sour mix and splash of juice. Stir, then garnish with an inverted drink umbrella. Drink during peak storm hours, and vow not to believe anyone who tries to tell you the hurricane that flooded your garage and destroyed your shed was just a Category 1. =============================== CONE OF PROBABILITY 1 oz. cinnamon schnapps 1 sugar cone Pour the schnapps into the sugar cone. Every time you hear a TV weather man say, "cone of probability," bite off the end of the cone and down the shot. =============================== FEEDER BAND 2 oz. Midori 2 oz. rum 1 scoop vanilla ice cream After your home loses power, combine Midori and rum in a cocktail glass. Add a scoop of the vanilla ice cream that is melting in your freezer. Stir, and drink through a straw. ============================== BEACH EROSION 1 1/2 oz. Goldschläger 1 1/2 oz. apple brandy 1 pack Sugar in the Raw Combine Goldschläger, apple brandy and sugar in cocktail glass. As you drink, seriously contemplate moving your Yankee Ass back to New Jersey where it belongs. ============================= DOWNED POWER LINE 1 1/2 oz. rum 5 oz. Jolt Cola Combine ingredients in a cocktail glass. Drink while trying to figure out how the hell you're supposed to go two freakin' weeks without TV and AC. ============================== FLOOD ZONE 2 oz. Kahlúa 2 oz. Baileys Irish cream 4 oz. rum Serve in a 6-ounce glass and laugh-cry deliriously as the mess spills all over the countertop. ============================ COLD SHOWER 2 oz. Blue Aftershock 4 oz. Sprite Combine in a cocktail glass with crushed ice you received after waiting in line for three hours at a mall parking lot. Take a deep breath, sip and scream like a little girl when the cold beverage hits your tongue. Repeat. =========================== LOOTERS WILL BE SHOT (My personal favorite) 1 oz. Jack Daniel's Splash of sarsaparilla Rock salt Load both barrels of a shotgun with rock salt. Climb to the roof of your house with gun, bottle of Jack Daniel's and can of sarsaparilla. Fill shotglass with Jack and splash of sarsaparilla. Watch for looters. When you spot one, blast his ass with rock salt. Drink shot. Repeat. ============================= THE CHAIN SAW 1 oz. Goldschläger 1 oz. Rumplemintz 3 oz. Jim Beam Splash of vermouth Combine Goldschläger, Rumplemintz and Jim Beam in an empty soup can. Add splash of vermouth. Drink. Remove chain saw from garage and attempt to cut up fallen tree limbs in yard. Ask neighbor to drive you to hospital when it all goes horribly wrong. ============================== FOUR-WAY STOP 1 1/2 oz. vodka 1 1/2 oz. vodka and Midori 1 1/2 oz. vodka and Galliano 1 1/2 oz. vodka and grenadine Pour each ingredient into a separate shot glass. Serve one each to yourself and three other people. The person with the clear shot of vodka drinks first. The person to his right drinks the Midori shot, and so on. If somebody drinks out of order, develop a quick case of road rage and beat the living crap out of him. ============================= BLUE TARP 1 1/2 oz. Curacao 2 oz. pineapple juice Splash of lime Combine ingredients in a leaky paper cup and serve. Wait six to eight months for someone to repair the cup. If you're impatient, hire an unlicensed, out-of-state contractor to do the job for an exorbitant sum and pray he doesn't hurt himself in the process. ============================== FEMA FIZZLE 1 oz. Southern Comfort 2 oz. sloe gin Tonic water One week after the storm has passed and your neighborhood is still in ruins, with no sign of help on the way, combine Southern Comfort and gin in a cocktailglass. Fill remainder with tonic and add a dash of Angostura bitters. Serve with a nut brownie. Before drinking, raise the glass and say the toast, "Doing a heckuva job Brownie!" NOTE: Just because we may escape Gustav, doesn't mean Hannah's not coming to kick our ass. Drink up me hearties, yo ho! Lord David Pirate & Hurricane Rider Skull Club New Orleans

Friday, August 22, 2008

Drinks With All My Friends

Quotes To Ponder

"The journey will be difficult. The road will be long. I face this challenge with profound humility and knowledge of my own limitations. But I also face it with limitless faith in the capacity of the American people." - Barack Obama "Bomb Iran, bomb, bomb Iran." - John McCain, singing to the tune of the Beach Boy's 'Barbara Ann' on National Television

Monday, August 18, 2008

A Letter to the Metropolitan Crime Commision - 8/18/08

To John Humphries; I spoke today with a fellow Marigny Resident, Friend & Neighbor. He actually took a picture of the younger of the two boys who are assaulting Bicyclists in our neighborhoods. He took the picture to the 5th Distirct Police station where the boy was identified. The officer taking the report said no arrest would be made, juvenile or otherwise, but she would tell the kid's mom he might be headed for trouble. She also made a point of telling my neighbor that she would alert the boys mother that 'an older man was following him around taking pictures' and that the neighbor should watch his step. So we have a 14 year old african american kid, out late, at least 'til midnight, assaulting bike riders with concrete and large peices of metal. The police do nothing, but tattle to his mom. Even though they know him well enough to identify his picture on sight. The person who reports it (an older white guy) basically gets told he's being watched as a pedophile. Great. This is exactly the kind of Do Nothing, Racist Attitude that needs to be reported to the Metropolitan Crime Commision. Such graphic failure and corruption of Law Enforcement in the City of New Orleans, compounded by bullying and threatening behavior from the police themselves, is a travesty, and not to be tolerated in this country, never mind the State of Louisiana, or the City of New Olreans. Lord David

United For Peace - New Orleans - Reposted from

United for Peace is organizing an amazing project, speaking out against violence with poetry, music and visual art. Recycle for the Arts would like to invite all of our friends and supporters to participate in this important event. The march needs visual artists to donate their talent and create portraits of the victims. These portraits will be carried during the march as a memorial to those who have been lost. After the march the portraits will be displayed in an art show and finally given to the families of the victims. There are no restrictions in regards to media but Recycle for The Arts would like to encourage everyone to use recycled materials to complete their piece. If you are interested in completing a piece please do so and contact receive an image and information about a victim please contact Charles with any questions you may have about the march or other ways that you can help. Guidelines:18 inches by 18inches might be a good size restrictions. .. remember people will be walking down the street with these. Please include the person's name and day of death on the back. Please include the victim's name on the front as well. Please no street names or nicknames. The medium and the kind of paint is up to the artist as United for Peace will be taking photographs of the paintings and making copies for people to hold down the street as well. Please have your portrait completed by Sept 7th. Since Katrina New Orleans has lost over 400 of our neighbors, friends and community members to violent crime. United for Peace is organizing a march for peace on September 20,"Our mission is to assert the dignity and worth of all 484 New Orleanians murdered since the Storm. If we can unite for this march, we will create the energy and power needed for our individual projects to grow. The artist of the world have always been the ones to change the consciousness of their community, so let us come together for our community on this day. "United for Peace will be planning the march every Monday starting Monday, July 21st, from 6:30pm to 8pm at 1629 Simon Bolivar Ave. (Berean Church). This is our time to change New Orleans' perspective on peace. Please email Charles at the above address to confirm your attendance. Showcased by Michael Dingler

Taking Action Against Violent Crime

Like many of our Humid City readers, I am still reeling from the recent murder of Jessica Hawk, a kind and loved Bywater resident. As commentary began to come in from her friends and family in Ohio, I found myself trying to explain exactly how such a horrible event could be seamingly shrugged off by city officials. No answer is forthcoming. I also wondered why lesser violent crime, like the brutal hit and run that crushed Dave Gordon's leg (half owner/operator of Funrockn & Pop City), could go unanswered, while the police know the actual location of the vehicle involved, and the address of the perpetrator. A young woman, a fellow artist, in fact, who lives not far from me in the Marigny, has alerted me to another situation, in which two young men are attacking bicycle riders in the marigny/Bywater area. These are her words: "Friday night around 11, I was biking home. At the intersection of St. Claude and Frenchmen, there were two black boys on bikes. One looked to be about 16 and the other one no more than 14.They were on low rider new looking bikes. One had on a blue baseball cap, over sized white t-shirt, and long blue jean shorts. The other one was wearing a dark jersey of some type. They said nothing as I rode by them but one of them threw a heavy metallic thing at me and hit me in the spine in between the shoulder blades.They laughed and took off. I thought it was an isolated incident until I talked with a friend who said that I am the 7th person she has heard of to be attacked in the Marigny/Bywater area. They have all reported two boys about the same ages. They seem to only be targeting people on bikes.One guy was smashed up against the head with a slab of concrete and then they punted his head. They did not rob him, but I am afraid that someone is going to be killed soon. I was not robbed either. The intent seemed to be to hurt me and go. I reported it to the police, although they were less than interested." This then, seems to be the connective tissue between all of these stories of violence. As citizens of these neighborhoods, we are sometimes singled out to be hunted by local thugs, run down in the streets, attacked for no reason other than entertainment. The response of the police force is shockingly simple. They can't do anything about it without citizen involvement, and we we become involved, they still do nothing except put us at further risk, going so far as to ask a local woman to identify Dave Gordon's assaulter in front of a large group of his friends, knowing he would not be taken in to custody. New Orleans has a Metropolitan Crime Commision, which oversees corruption and malfeasance of local government. I believe that these recent failures by the NOPD, at least in our neck of the woods merits their action. I urge each and every one of you to make contact, and let them know how you feel about living like fish in a barrel. Mr. John Humphries has been receptive about hearing these complaints. Please be polite & concise. The Metropolitan Crime Commision can be reached by phone at: 540 524-7000 or toll free at 888 524-7001. The email address is: Simple letters can make a huge difference in large numbers. I've also received an email from Baty Landis at SilenceIsViolence, letting me know that many citizens are outraged, like myself (read my posts about this), about Mayor Ray Nagin accepting an award for bravery and recovery from his millionaire developer friends. We are planning on assembling for protest. The Award Ceremony takes place Friday Night at the Ritz Carlton, at 7pm. I urge all who are interested to meet there for the Silence Is Violence protest at 6pm sharp. This is a chance to make our collective voices heard. Contacting the Metro Crime Commision about the failure of our local police is a chance to tell your individual story. Please, do whatever you can to help make a difference. The life you save could be yours or that of one you love. Lord David Skull Club New Orleans

Friday, August 15, 2008

Ya Think?

This is so ludicrous that TV comedy writers would probably find it too unbelievable to use; "Bullying and intimidation are not acceptable ways to conduct foreign policy in the 21st century," President Bush said today.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Regarding Jessica Hawk...

My sincerest wish in all of this is that the perpetrator(s) of this horrible crime will be caught, prosecuted & punished. And that somehow, someway, soon, the people who are running this city, at every level, will take responsibility, not by holding investigations and casting blame, but upholding their commitments to this fine city, and to all of us, preventing such a devastating act, and allowing us to live without fear of losing our loved ones or our lives. Rest in peace, Jessica Hawk.

Playing Monopoly With Our Lives

So, let me get this straight; The Mayor’s friend owns three river front properties in the Marigny, and is put in charge of River Front Development, because he doesn’t have ’substantial economic interest.’ ( see post comments on Mister Cummings will be making decisions about how the City of New Orleans will spend money on these properties to develop our riverfront. while owning three of them. And he’s the Mayor’s pal. I think racketeering charges should be filed, preferably at the Mayor’s award ceremony. A Federal Indictment on a cake. Meanwhile, Jessica Hawk, who was murdered in her home across the street, 'keeps the New Orleans brand out there'. Thanks Ray. Thanks Warren. How do her friends and family feel about this you snake oil motherfucking bastards? I’m so goddamned angry the tears are burning my face. You fucking assholes are bleeding the city dry to line your pockets and a simple flower lady gets fucking murdered, horribly, in her home. You respond by giving yourself a prize? FUCK YOU, C. RAY NAGIN. That’s right. I’m Lord David, Helen Hills’ neighbor, and I’m saying it for all to see. You’re a fucking liar, thief, useless asshole and another good citizen is dead because you’re playing rockstar and taunting the city council about ‘what you don’t appreciate.” You know what Jessica Hawk doesn’t appreciate? Anything. Ever again. I hope you rot in burning hell for all eternity and a day, you piece of shit.

Your Invitaion to the Mayor's Party

The Mayor of New Orleans is getting an award for courage and other stupid shit that never happened, and having a party for the ceremony. There is an RSVP phone number on the invitation, which is for Friday, August 22nd, at the Ritz Carlton, 15th Floor, 7 to 10pm. Proper attire required. Also getting an award, according to the same invitation, is “New Orleans Katrina Survivors”. I think I’ll call and let them know I’m coming for my award. Please, RSVP yourself, at: 504 543-4131 I think we might all share a cab. Oh, say, about five or six hundred of us. I hope there’s plenty of shrimp cocktails. After all, you know who’s footing the bill.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I May Actually Vomit

I am trying desperately to see any reason to accept these recent circumstances; A career cop is suspended for wearing the wrong uniform shirt for 15 minutes. A cop waves a loaded gun in anger, in front of children at a day care in the Treme. An off-duty cop leads on-duty cops on a high speed chase, drives off after being pulled over, finally slaps one of the on-duty cops when they catch up to him. A hit and run driver, who left a Bywater resident and business owner bleeding in the street with protruding broken bones, telling the victim, "I never hit you", can only be ticketed for a misdemeanor, and then only if witnesses come along for the arrest to identify him to his face. The Ticketed driver would not be arrested, nor the witness protected. A woman is found beaten and stabbed IN HER HOME, mere blocks from where the violent hit & run driver lives, but he has not been questioned. The murderer of Helen Hill remains at large. The car used in the hit & run sits daily in plain sight, yet the police refuse to tow it or ticket it, because it has Texas Plates. Several witnesses have identified it as the vehicle which assaulted the victim. The victim of this hit & run will probably not be able to walk for at least five to six months. The assaulting vehicle appears to be uninsured, a Louisiana State Violation. The writer of this blog was stopped and consequently run for warrants, due to 'Homeland Security' because a passenger in the vehicle (From England) had a legal Federal Green Card, but no state ID. He was threatened with arrest. Approximately 150 illegal Mexican workers watched this whole event, and the police ignored them and never asked them for ID. Two separate shootings, one of them apparently a home invasion, took the lives of two New Orleans citizens this weekend. Chief Warren Riley continually tells us how little the police can do without community involvement and information. Local residents took the police to the address of the Hit & Run vehicle. They refused to act. The police asked a witness, a single women who lives near by, to accompany them to the front porch, where almost a dozen young men were gathered, and stand there pointing out the one who drove the vehicle so cold bloodedly over her friend, while his friends watched her make the identification. The cops said they would issue a traffic citation upon her identification, but make no arrest. She must pass this house on an almost daily basis. Then I got a notice from Loki at Humidcity... The Excellence in Recovery Committee is holding A Tribute to the Recovery of New Orleans. The Award of Distinction for Recovery, Courage and Leadership goes to C. Ray Nagin, Mayor. This do-nothing pompous ass has ignored anything like real responsibility to the people of this city, insulted any but black citizens calling it 'a chocolate city,' suggested that run-away murder rates are good, as they 'keep the New Orleans brand out there', spent $7,000 of taxpayers money on personal expenses in the last year alone, took a dozen personal aides on a two week trip to South Africa, helped set up NOAH, the biggest con game since Bill Jefferson, and generally acts like a cross between Napoleon and Axl Rose. Now he's getting an award. Probably of his own device. Meanwhile, cops hassle citizens for petty traffic infractions that they can fine, arrest hobos for petty theft and call it felony burglary to increase their felony conviction stats, and refuse to arrest a hit & run driver without exposing a witness to obvious intimidation, and allow hundreds of illegal aliens to block intersections as they openly solicit work without papers of any kind. I don't know about you, but I'm actually ready to throw up.


From 'The Tower Room', by Lord David Of which well that I might drink to bring me to eternal sleep to dip my cup into that stream elixir of unending dream escaping mundane daily dross fashioned in a manner gross wherein each & every blade reflects how very stars were made in vision passing, fancy pure, that leaves me behind to endure when in slumber I have known lovers of no flesh and bone but gossomer and wind and sky of beauty such transcends the eye where pleasures endless multiply. Adventures of the strangest kind challenge limits of my mind senic vistas shift and change sea and mountain rearrange ride on wingback, fall and fly, breathe of color, feel with eye, yet waken to this morbid shell and leave behind what none can tell. Now separation takes it's toll passing faces grim and cold contact at it's best so fleeting each heart in a cage is beating. Touch, a mere and hopeless taste desire's greed has laid to waste whatever comfort offered there is soon dipped in rich despair a feast on each and every plate stuffed with solitary fate. Me, I shun this bitter taste rather a toast that I shall make bring me none for I shall wait for wine steeped long with opiate and dip my cup into that stream to plunge me into endless dream of that well that I might drink to bring me to eternal sleep.


Verse from 'The Tower Room',
by Lord David

This one night as I lay awake,
brain steeping in boiling plans
for world domination,
breathing slow fire and
listening to the wild
drums of my heart,
I would cool the fever
on the dry skin of my palms
against your honeyed flesh.
No shared secret spoken here,
or rending sex
of inhuman passion
could possibly be antidote
to this poisonous void.
Only your still form
and cool fine hair
in which to bury
my galloping thoughts,
might arrest this
vagabond caravan
of gypsy night.
It does not matter
if you know who
I will ever be,
as long as your
cool contagious sleep
bleeds me out into dream,
watching the movement
of your visioned eyelids
hypnotic potion cure.
This one night
I would give you
my last canister
of pure milk chocolate
and maybe some of
my last beer
to sleep beside your beauty.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Myspace Strikes Again

Some guy named Jonathon, from Slidell, LA, who's picture is a camera lense, responded to my rant about corrupt government officials, and told me I left out. "Barac Hussein" . Figuring that he meant Barack Hussein Obama, I responded by saying that the dude has my vote in November. Which he does. Oh, yeah, by the way....If anyone has a problem with free choice and democratic electoral elections, please just fuck straight off or move to another country. It's what we do here, my choice is up to me, and I don't care what you think of me, whether you agree or not. So Anyway.......this Jonathon (the 'i'm afriad to show my face' dude) sends me an email telling me I'm a loser and a sheep and blah, blah, Lord of the flies, we're all doomed cuz of my vote, end of the world and so on. You know, stupid redneck armegedon crap. He ends it with, "peace and have a nice day anyway". I deleted him and he went beserk. I got a message saying how horrible I am, a sheep, la la de da same shit. I answered (against my better judgement) saying, nothing personal, I just don't want the negativity. His unbeleivable answer? "I said have a nice day and peace, dude. That's not negative. You're a douche bag, a loser..." and a long list of other offensive terms I was called daily as a bartender. All in the name of proving I'm a loser and he's not negative. To Jonathon, and all his myopic clones, retarded clan members and people who hang out drinking with him in his mom's tool shed (read: Man Cave)... Please try lots of tricks based on the show "Jackass." Preferably any that involve jumping over running lawnmower blades, or juggling plugged in toasters while standing in a full bath tub. The world will be a better place. If you don't like my choices, look the other way. If your idea of freedom is to shout obscenities at those who differ from you,please die in flames. If your attempts to better the world are based on never voting, but sending hate mail to grownups who take an active role in the American process and take full responsibilty for their actions, then perhaps you could hang your nut sack down a running garbage disposal to prevent my kids from supporting your kids as they struggle to memorize the phrase, "Please drive through." If you really want a mean old wrinkled and self serving white guy to tell you what to do, go to work for Larry Flynt. At least he doesn't lie about what he is or what he does. For those who are troubled by similar assholes, remember this: All the rats start freaking out when their ship starts going down. Just keep rowing towards paradise and smacking the little bastards out of the boat.

Vital Information

For god's sake, don't try to take your Super Soaker in to the Strip Club. They really don't like it. Bastards.

The Monkey & the Termite...

Yeah, yeah, the Mayor's a Wanker, everybody has Election Year Burnout, some other government funded crooks got caught, blah, blah, blah... I, on the other hand, have an ongoing diatribe with a Monkey & a Termite, both of whom mean the world to me. No shit. And they're both much more lovable than any of the pesky humans who run about City Hall, playing Puny Mortal Politics. The Monkey, in particular, has seemed rather sad lately. It appears she doesn't care for the constant stream of negativity that laps at the shores of our lives these days. Who could blame her? So, even though I'm not The Man In A Yellow Hat (not today, anyway), I'm thinking that some Happy Monkey Shines are In Order. This Saturday is Dirty Linen Night, and the French Quarter will be awash with Art, Artists, and Art Fans, all carrying cocktails, sweating and perusing the galleries of Royal Street and beyond. It's also the Second Saturday of the Month, which means all the galleries of the St. Claude Art Ditrict ( will be doing their monthly openings. The Marigny and Bywater will also be hosting a multitude of art, artists and fans, in their own quirky and bohemian way. Cocktails also, no doubt, will abound. On a New Front, Schiro's Cafe will be holding a show at their upstairs Balcony Bed & Breakfast, starting Saturday at 1pm. Wine and cheese, oh my! I happen to have a piece showing there, along with the likes of: Lance Vargas, Rex Dingler, Gary Perez, Amie Davis, Claudia Geherke, Mr 504, Scott Mosely and the inevitable Dr Bob. I hope you make it to one of these shows, or at least wander the streets, smiling and drinking and meeting some very cool people. Only in New Orleans do we offer up to the Gods of Beauty a sacrifice of sweat and booze, art and community, on one of the hottest fuckng nights of the year. We're just crazy, us. I wouldn't have it any other way. Hope this cheered you up, Little Monkey. If not, the gin will. Oh, yes. And laughter. Does anybody remember laughter? xoxo LD

Thursday, August 7, 2008

August In New Orleans

Let this time of year here in the Crescent City be a reminder; Of the vast multitude of things one could possibly stick up their own ass, the most common choice is their head. You can quote me on that.

You're All Fired. Everybody. Go Home.

…Or, to coin a familiar phrase, Fuck You, You Fucking Fucks. My morning started out with reading about John McCain wanting to stiffen his willy on the insurance dime, but denying that women had any rights for insured birth control. Then Toby Keith tells us that Obama shouldn’t oughta think he can ack like a Caulk-Casion. Black folk don’t like it. I guess they prefer his stupid cracker-ass stereotyping… On my way to work, rehabbing houses in the upper 9th ward, I got pulled over by a cop road block, who, it appears, were searching for illegal aliens. At Loews. They somehow missed the 150 Mexicans sitting on the curb across the street, and pulled my truck over, demanding ID from myself and my work partner, Howard. After asking me how long I lived at my current address (10 years) they wanted to know where I lived before that. Go figure. When they heard Howard’s English accent, the 150 Mexicans simply ceased to exist, and his green card (a Federally issued ID) “wasn’t good enough” and his ID issued by the Supreme Court of Louisiana, so he can come & go from those buildings (where he also does work) didn’t help either. We sat as we were run for warrants and to make sure we were in the country legally (while 150 Mexicans watched) and then Howard was told, “if you’re a passenger in a car here, and don’t have Louisiana ID, next time, you’re going to Jail.” I’m sure the Chief Justice at the State Court of Appeals will be hearing about this when Howard gets there this afternoon. All the same, it was fucking retarded. None of the cops even looked at the 150 illegals, sitting on the curb. Now NOAH (New Orleans Affordable Housing commision) has fired all their employees. Everybody. Every fucking one. Because the whole shitbag is so goddam corrupt that nobody is to be trusted. I’d really like to know what measuring stick they use for that. I mean, cops who stop working guys and harass an Englishman with a green card and Court ID while 150 illegal Mexicans sit watching, are THEY the level of integrity we’re looking for? Or perhaps we’re basing our standards on the Mayor, who is simply too busy to go before the City Council, when called, and explain how the hell his little NOAH program turned into a money grabbing booth for contractors and their cronyess, who handed out the shit like it was White Boy Day for anybody named Clarence. In any case, the message is clear: John McCain, you misogynist pig, Toby Keith, you stupid no-talent cracker, Mister Attitude Cop, you cowardly power tripping asshole, Everbody at NOAH, you self-serving assholes, and especially you, Mayor C. Ray Nagin, who lets this all go on unchecked, you worthless excuse for a human being, nevermind Mayor of New Orleans…. Fuck all of you clever bastards. Hard and fast. I’m fucking sick to death of busting my ass to rebuild houses so that local people can have affordable housing that doesn’t leak, blow up or fall in, nevermind a clinic for those without health care, all while you lot of ass hats line your pockets, push people around, don’t show up for work, think that you’re better because of your race or gender, lie, steal or make really bad music (which is worse, really) and generally contribute nothing to the game but a lot of bad air and stupid crap for the rest of us to crawl through, all labeled as “Your Contribution.” Fuck you, you stupid assholes. Shut the fuck up, get the hell out of the way, and let us do our jobs, express ourselves, and get together to vote you bastards on to Anthrax Island for the rest of your lives. Soon. Just in case anybody wondered what I was thinking about…the Word For Today is: Livid Lord David Pirate & Artist Skull Club New Orleans

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


What follows is my latest book, a novel, in serial form. Keep watching this site for the continuing story... PRELUDE There were men in the woods. Men with guns. And they were looking for me. I clung to a scratchy tree, pulling myself close to it in the dark. Deep, sweaty, humid dark. I did my best to slow my breathing to an inaudible rhythm, and pulled harder on the tree, hoping it made no sound, wondering how long I could stand the itchy growth on its trunk rubbing against my sweaty arms. They circled slowly past me, moving in what appeared to be ever widening circles, guns with lights on the end, pointed at the ground. They grew closer with every pass. Even more disconcerting was the murmur of their conversation. They were joking, for god’s sake, making funny small talk about hunting me, as though I were a mindless beast, an annoying varmint, something that crossed their collective path and should be stepped on. Occasionally, I caught a glimpse of their faces, as paths criss-crossed, lights bounced and the dark grew deeper and hotter. Two of them appeared to be twins, identical faces on strangely different bodies, one with a head a bit too small atop his hulking frame, the other’s head almost too large for his smaller body, legs inappropriately short for his girth. I had to stop myself from laughing with mad panic at the sight of them, wobbling along with misshapen bodies and matching heads, like some strange god had deliberately split the zygote off center, to punish puny mortals while amusing other cruel gods. Perhaps this had brought them to cruelty themselves, entering the world as a poorly divided egg. As I took stock of my surroundings, I saw that I was at the edge of a small upward incline. It swept slowly up from the edge of the tree line that hid me, to the raised roadbed, often found here in gulf coast Louisiana, designed to protect the roads from erosion when the rains, floods or hurricanes came to take their toll. For me, it meant an up hill sprint to the road, slowing me down, just as I broke out into the moon & starlight that settled on the blacktop. It meant I would have to scramble up hill, only to be a sitting duck, an illuminated target. It meant that I was probably going to be a dead man if didn’t move before the next widening circle came around. And probably a dead man, too, if I ran. My only hope appeared to me as if in a dream. First there was that familiar buzzing sound, my harbinger of sorts, following me again, as it had for so many days, now. Then a dim glow on the horizon, almost hallucinatory, like a ghost image, slowly clarifying into distinct light. It was an approaching car, out here in the middle of nowhere. Its lights danced in the wavering heat and mist of humid delta night, almost like a signal, calling me to another reality, awake from this horrible dream, safe and secure as the memory of fear dissipated. No such luck. It was, however, a chance of escape. If I could just time it right, a sprint up the sloping hill to the road, in time to stop the car and get in, before the shooting started, a convincing plea to the driver to take off, before we were both shot down… it was a long shot at best. I flinched inside, knowing that these men would kill the approaching driver as easily and without care as they would me, and that if I let that car pass safely, the person behind the wheel would pass safely, too, through the night, never knowing what transpired in those sweaty woods. Still, I readied myself for a launch, dug in to the thick damp soil for footing, and watched the approaching car. The passing circle of men with guns was at its farthest point from me as I timed my run to meet the oncoming car. The moment had come… As I pushed off the tree with my arms and sprung forward, my left shoe stuck in the mud for an insane moment, turning everything to slow motion, letting me believe for a crazy instant that the earth itself were holding me back, that those cruel gods were, indeed, punishing our paltry lives, the roots of the trees their horrible soldiers, clutching at my very limbs. Then it got worse. They damning earth released my foot, shoeless of course, with an audible pop, so loud, it echoed of the trees on the opposite side of the road. As I lunged, limping on my tender foot, unbalanced against my shod one, up the hill to the road, I threw myself the last few yards to the blacktop. The whine of screeching tires, sliding out of control, approached me, as the first shot rang out.


CHAPTER 1 Humans are very strange creatures. Besides all the obvious things that might pass through one’s mind upon hearing that statement, there is the whimsical fact that we spend a good deal of time somewhere other than Now. We collect albums of photographs, deliciously selective, that remind us of The Before Time, often lamented as much better than it really was. Some are bookmarked with love letters that now depict deep, heartfelt resonance, rather than the stupid drunken lechery that actually spawned them. Some display tattered pictures of people who, in actuality, hardly remember us, yet we grow more fond of them as their coveted youthfulness becomes more & more noticeable, compared to our progressive state of decay. Then there are The Lists, and Lists of Lists, Things to Make & Do. They collect in desk drawers, behind old dressers, and work benches and in glove compartments. The must do’s, places to go and things to see that make the day to day grayness of our tiny lives palatable. Brilliant plans thwarted by time, or simply dead on the vine, as life & living carry us like a rip tide, far, far away from the Isle of Genius where these forgotten epiphanies are born, a crowning achievement, an Idol of Our Future Days, plans that remain plans, never quite becoming the fruit of our labors. There is, from time to time, between waking and sleeping, a place where life seems to stretch out. The pin-point existence of Now slips it’s borders and drifts, sometimes backwards, like clouds carrying images of memories savored, lovers lost, should haves and moments of glory; sometimes forward, like light, strobe flickering over potential and possibility, dreams and desires, spinning like the spokes of a wheel, heading off in to the future from the hub of today. This singularly human condition changes by degrees from one moment to the next, person to person, but for me, it comes most often with the demon of insomnia, the siren call of unfinished living, fueling itself with the longings of the past, those things that remain to haunt me and drive me relentlessly, sleeplessly, towards those desires that lay only and forever, just ahead. On this particular night, as my minds eye relived my own personal life time carousel of events and bred an infinite harem of possibilities, sleep was a distant friend and my world danced in front of me, past the cluttered dashboard, out there in the distance where the fading headlights discovered tarmac at ninety miles an hour. I had no idea what the hell I was doing. As my mind yanked itself out of the Great Cosmos, I’m sure that somewhere was heard an audible pop, like the sound of a foot being pulled suddenly from it’s boot, still buried deep in the thick delta mud. I focused for a moment on the sway of the road ahead. It swept down and across, up and over, caressing the Montana Hills, looking like a path against these massive swells, a landscape that seemed to call to giants to bring their golf game and stroll over foothills that stood a mile in the air. Even at ninety miles an hour, I was half a night away from Helena and there were no head lights in sight, in the rear view mirror, or cascading down the hillsides ahead. I reset my inner auto pilot and allowed my thoughts to wander once again, trying to recapture how this had all begun. It was like a sensory riot. In fact, it wasn’t like one at all. It was a sensory riot. Every inch of my skin seemed alive, bristling, vibrating in place, hot to the touch. Our bodies seemed to throb with the pulse of the music pounding out in the club. Bound together by hallucinogens, driven by cocaine, we clutched at each other in the dark bathroom stall, completely electric, as I pushed in to her, ever deeper and faster, against the wall over the toilet tank. I could smell a combination of piss, disinfectant, perfume and sweat as I dragged my mouth across her neck in the close air. Her fingers dug in to my back and she pulled harder to squeeze herself against me. The flickering light above us flashed on her silver hoop earrings, rocking back and forth in her shiny, dark hair, as she moved. I wondered if she would fall backwards, right through the wall. Things were rising to fever pitch, and I kissed her hard on the neck. She bit the bottom of my ear lobe and pulled until it hurt, then let go and stage whispered loud enough to be heard over the din, “Forever and ever?” “Forever and ever”, I answered, lost in the throb, the thrusting, the oblivion, some how fascinated by the scrawling words in the peeling paint behind her head. As our climax arose, I stared at those words… “Let’s just hope a robot doesn’t go crazy and kill everybody.” The Truth had found us. We were truly blessed. Then everything seemed to explode. Jude moved in to my flat off Second Avenue, a short hop from the corner bar at 9th Street, on the edge of Alphabet City, where she ‘slung drinks’, as she put it, several nights a week. And it was perfect. At first. It always is… Drinking, sex, drugging, sex, clubbing, music and more sex. We rolled through the days, and more often, the nights, on a cloud of new romance, taking our little road show to the clubs and live venues, wheeling and dealing, music bookings and promotions, and anything else that paid for the rent, the bills, the habits. It was a glorious time. Like Ancient Rome was a glorious time. We fed our appetites with total abandon, and at the expense of any reputations or friendships that got in the way or took up too much time. Like many new lovers, we found ourselves a cloak of invincibility and wrapped ourselves, naked, inside. Unlike other new lovers, however, we refused to get past this point, and wallowed in a decadence unsurpassed, even in our bohemian world. We fed our desires to bursting. I can’t remember the exact day that I realized her voice no longer sounded sexy. This morning, it sounded more like a smoke alarm to me. And I realized I hadn’t listened to what she was actually saying in some time. I had to make myself focus on her words, for some reason. They just kind of drifted out of my field of vision, for some reason I didn’t intend or understand. I’ve always had trouble concentrating. She was, however, still a vision to me. Her dark, thick, almost black hair, and the way it swept around her face when she moved. And she moved with cat like grace to begin with. Especially when she knew I was watching. Her eyes were that deep emerald green, and the way they caught fire sometimes was like a tiny piece of a star hidden in them, only coming out when it burned for something. She stood over me now, like a fantastic sculpture, her arms sticking out to the sides as she hung her hands to those lovely hips. She leaned over me slowly, saying my name, again and again. I could smell her skin getting closer, like lavender. She began to shake me. “D! Wake up!” The alarm was going off, loud and clear. She always called me by my first initial. This often raised an eyebrow among strangers, or on the street, the single letter ‘D’ sounding like a name better suited for a dog or a child, rather than this tattooed, ear-ringed, long haired man in black. “D!” “I’m right here”, I mumbled into the couch. She said something that sounded like she was singing ‘Oh, Susanna’, but with such a sad monotone, the fantastic sculpture over me now seemed like the Bringer of Doom. “What? Say that again, Jude. I didn’t catch it.” “I said I’m going to Montana.” I sat up and rubbed at my eyes. It’s sort of amazing how these things always seem to happen during one’s worst hangovers. I’d just woken up and could tell this was going to be a doozie. “Montana? You’re going to Montana?” “Yes. That’s what I said.” “I know, I heard you. The second time, anyway. I thought you were gonna sing that banjo song, at first…. Anyway, I was using my question voice to ask the reason.” Silence. Suddenly, I could tell this was going to be a very serious chat. Any attempt at humor or light heartedness would be quickly sucked in to the gloom. I am acutely aware that I seem to be a wise ass, even when I’m serious and attentive. Trust me. I do. I couldn’t see today’s particular combination of influences going anywhere but down the chute, but I soldiered on. “Sorry, Jude. I’m sorry. Really. I’m hung over as hell and I meant come back here last night to get you, and you know I feel terrible about it. I just need a minute to focus, ‘kay?” I started to get up and she pushed me back in to the couch. The couch was one of our ‘favorite’ places and this push was very familiar, but somehow, today, I knew that stuff was miles away. “Look, D, I’m going to Montana and I’m leaving today. I started packing last night when you didn’t show up, but that was just a mad packing. I usually put it all away the next day. But this is real. Something has to change. I’m going.” “What the fuck are you going to do in Montana?” “I’m going to stay with the Indians. Native Americans are what they’re called. The Blackfoot.” I have to admit it, I just stared at her. This seemed a bit out of the norm for excursions lovers take at difficult times, and she was totally serious, I could see that. As much as I could see anything, that is. I began to realize that a great deal had gone in to the building up of this moment and event. I had been not listening for too long. I felt horrible. Besides being wretchedly hung over and feeling guilty as hell, I realized I’d left this beautiful woman sitting waiting for me, as if to punctuate the extended period of letting her drift out of my thoughts, my attentions, by doing so. I didn’t know what to say. I’d been a classic asshole, lately. So, of course, I started to criticize her plan. “So you’re just going to take a bus to Montana and find some Native American Blackfoot Indians? Does the bus stop at reservations or something? I mean, come on, how do you plan to do this? Seriously. I’d like to know. I really would.” Now she was staring at me. Her look wasn’t angry or preachy or sad like the ‘I’m gonna miss this asshole’ look I knew so well, or anything like that. She looked this way when someone told her they could out do her at something. I wished she’d say something. Or at least blink. “Listen”, she said, more softly this time, and sat down next to me. She took my hand. For some reason I was liking her voice again. A little husky, but smooth, like bitter chocolate. “It doesn’t matter, but I’ve been looking at stuff about this on line for a while. Not planning to leave, just seeing what’s out there. This is a rut, baby. The same shit over and over again. We’ve lost something that connects us to everything else, and we’re starting to lose what connects us to each other. I need something more than this. There’s a ranch outside Helena where I can stay and work. There are no cattle or anything, it’s like an artists’ retreat, and people work and stay a while, if they get invited.” She looked down, and I was grateful. Her eyes made it hard to concentrate again. “I got invited.” She said. “Just a few weeks ago. I didn’t really give it much thought at first, but lately…” she looked right at me now and said everything with a single tear. “And then last night when you didn’t come back…” I could almost hear myself ripping, down inside my chest. A burning, tearing feeling, like something was being torn loose, rising up into my cheeks, the top of my head. I wondered if I would be sick. Great. “I don’t want to lose you, Jude.” I spoke fast, too fast, but softly. Still, I’m sure my voice was steeped in desperation. “Maybe we can try something different here, another apartment, different scene. I don’t want to be without you. Please, baby, don’t go.” Apparently, I was giving myself away this time. “I have to. It’s what I need to do, I can feel it.” She reached out and put her finger tips over my mouth as I started to argue. Then the surprise came. “Come with me,” She said. Those crazy green eyes did that sparkle thing, like chips of the sun, flashing just for me, pools of deep green pulling me under. She leaned over and kissed me softly, then a little harder. She drew back and looked directly in to my eyes. “You said forever and ever, so….” No matter how much I would fight it over the next few hours, I was going to Montana. “Forever and ever,” I replied. I staked her to a train ticket to Bozeman and she stayed another two days. -


CHAPTER 2I could tell you all the details of discussions and promises and arguments and make-up sex that led to me making this trip alone, two weeks behind her. Maybe I will another time, if anyone is interested and if I can even remember. Perhaps not. Stories kind of tell themselves somehow, and that one just isn’t around for some reason. It was more a time of blurry action, like swinging a sling around to build up momentum before letting fly a stone. For whatever reasons, Jude went on ahead, and I stayed to wrap up what needed wrapping up, and struggled with desire for her and my reluctance to leave The City. Especially for someplace that seemed to be the edge of the map. Of course, I didn’t mention that to her during our recent whispery sessions of passion & promises. That would have been rude, to say the least. I’m nothing if not polite. So I’d answered my own question, I think, reflecting down the long hall to history back and dragging myself through it. It was the purest and most basic of motivators; simple desire, for my sex partner, my mate, my companion. Desire is what drove me here. Whether it was love, or loneliness, habit or compulsion, that sparked this particular drive, was the question that I was coming here to answer.As I tried to ignore the eternal battle between the throbbing membranes at either end of my spine, Helena, the small town capitol of Montana, appeared in the distance, a tiny and shimmering sea of lights in the morning’s darkest dark, just before dawn. As I approached civilization, sleep deprived and road weary, I felt myself to be a crossover between John the Baptist, coming out of The Wilderness, and some futuristic cosmonaut, dropping out of a worm hole, back into the space time continuum. I pulled Jude’s scribbled map to the ranch out of my pocket, and tried to smooth the crumpled paper with one hand as I directed my mother ship of a beat up Chevy, onward, towards the object of my desire.Once you make that right turn, just past Three Forks, and head up Highway 287 from Interstate 90, you start to realize where you really are. The road narrows, and the immense country side swallows the limits of imagination. The giant expanse of the land is simply overwhelming. Once through East Helena, and into Helena proper, it’s a little less daunting. It’s a real town. Not the Deadwood look-a-like I pictured, as though I had driven into a movie set, but a smaller sized, northwestern town. Unlike lower Manhattan, it apparently closes up at night, and I rolled through the streets like a ghost.The other side of town, across Interstate 15, where 287 becomes highway 12, is even more rural, and I wondered what the hell was out here that was worth driving almost two thousand miles. “A mailbox on the right. A blue one. About 7 miles outside of town. It says, ‘baths – 25 cents’ on a little sign, nailed to the post.”Now, I’ve done a lot of crazy shit and been to some pretty weird places, but these directions smacked of a scavenger hunt, and I imagined all the scavengers out here, just waiting for me to stop on this two lane road in the middle of nowhere, and get out to read a sign promising cheap bathing facilities. Jude had hand written these directions, however, so I did my best to follow them to the letter. Low & behold, the mailbox, blue & boasting baths, appeared on the right, next to some scrabble that could be a path. “Take a right and go 5.3 miles to the last gate.” The last gate.Great.To what? The last gates of hell? And what were the first gates keeping in or out or locked in between? I turned the wheel and headed down the scrabble path, wheels grinding on the sand & stone surface, lights bouncing on the unending stretch of more path, quickly becoming obscured by the rising dust. Moving slowly along, I noticed a lack of dust just ahead, and slowed in time to see a lack of road.In fact, there was a complete lack of ground ahead. The path or whatever it was simply dropped out of sight. I stuck my head out the window and peered in to the night, finally turning off my headlights and allowing my eyes to adjust to the dark. The road simply vanished about 20 yards ahead. Slowly, I began to see it pick up quite a bit further on, and realized it must pass through a culvert of ravine of sorts. I inched the car forward, trying to raise as little dust as possible and looked out the window again. The culvert was about a dozen feet deep and easily thirty feet wide. If I got stuck there, no one would see my car, except from the air. My odometer said I still had several miles to go. What the hell, I thought. I’ve come this far. I can always make a new start as the guy who lives in an old chevy, on the bottom of a culvert. I apparently would, at least, have some road side traffic to entertain me, probably tractor drivers or hide collectors or open range hobos, looking for cheap baths. I inched the car towards the edge, letting gravity pull me in and hitting the gas at the bottom, taking advantage of that motion to propel me up the other side. My tires spun, spitting dirt and gravel as I started up the other side, my car beginning to turn sideways. At the last minute, I popped over the edge, back on to flat ground. I paused to catch my breath, and headed onward, in to the open plain.I passed through two or three open gates. Wide arrangements, providing breaks in long cattle fences that disappeared in either direction, hanging open, pulled all the way back against the fences they divided. At last I came to a closed gate. My odometer read four point something miles, so I knew this was not the last. Taking a look around as best I could through the dusty windows, I decided the coast was clear, and climbed out of the car to open the gate. As I lifted the latch and swung it back, I saw a sign on the gate that read, “If you open this gate, please close it after you pass.” Wondering if this meant passing through the gate, or passing in to the next life, I hoped for the best, returned to my car, and drove through. I got out on the other side and walked back to the gate. As I closed it, I could have sworn I heard heavy breathing nearby. I turned back towards my car, and looked out of the corner of my eye as I walked. There were several sets of eyes, reflecting what little light there was, staring at me from several yards away.The human body amazes me. It has a whole network of automatic mechanisms we rarely experience. Many of them came in to play at that very moment. My heart beat suddenly raced to a staccato drum roll. My ass seized shut and my testicles jumped up inside my body like some marsupial child, returning to the depths of its mother’s pouch. The taste of iron crossed my tongue, complimenting the dry fear in the rest of my mouth. A cornucopia of reactions ensued. Thankfully, none of them involved the releasing of waste materials or the staining of garments. Thanks for small wonders.I made it back to my car under these watchful eyes, and dropped it in gear.Slowly, so as not to piss off Satan, his little helpers, or whatever the fuck was out here, I continued on my way. As my odometer rolled to 5.3 miles exactly, I arrived at the last gate. It, too, was closed, but just on the other side, were a couple of low buildings, just to the right of the gate. This time I opened it, drove through and closed it, as quickly as possible and pulled my car to the side. The first building was a small house, its roof slanted up in one direction, apparently to face the sun and make use of its warmth and light. Across the road from it was a windmill tower, with some sort of box at the bottom, I supposed held a battery or pump. Past the house was a small trailer, a tow-behind thing, like an Air Stream, but covered in wood, with its front and side a collection of antlers and bones, oddly visible in the meager light. Visions of the Texas Chainsaw Massacres danced through my head. The door to the Trailer of Bones flew open, and a figure burst out it, running at me. As I stepped back, it launched itself at me, tackling me and taking me straight to the ground.It made strange sucking noises and I could feel its hot breath and wet mouth on my neck. It made noises all of a sudden.“I thought you weren’t coming, you asshole!” Jude was apparently glad to see me. “Did you have any trouble finding it?”“A piece of cake, sweetheart. Child’s play.”“I’m so fucking happy to see you,” she said in to my neck, then kissing me, long, deep and hard. “Come inside. We’ve got a lot to talk about.”Very little conversation was had as the sun began to rise over the giant hills of Montana. I cannot, for the life of me, remember a single word. -The light of day, as so often pointed out in story, verse and song, can and often does, change everything. I awoke in the little trailer, basically a bedroom with a stove and some shelves in the corners, and looked around.The dreamlike quality things often have after, say, three days without sleep and a nap of a few hours, lent itself well to this place. The walls were almost Byzantine in their compulsive coverings of nearly every surface. Art projects, animal bones and antlers, carvings, paintings, pieces of hammered metal and colored glass, pages of books with passages circled or crossed out, all of it danced in the shafts of sunlight through the tiny windows, whose panes had once been painted a variety of colors. Jude was nowhere in sight, which meant in bed, I guess, as there was little else in the room and the windows were too high to see much through, unless I actually made an effort to get up.Eventually, I staggered out side, squeezing my eyes almost shut against the bright light, and sat on the steps to the Trailer of Bones. Looking around, the menacing feeling of last night’s arrival was gone. The ranch around me was fairly bare, except for the main house by the gate, the windmill, and the Bone Trailer. A little further up the hill was a structure like a lodge, one large room of a building, with a series of windows facing south, the same as the main house. It was built on hillside, with some sort of concrete slab beneath, and a small room built under the main part of it, backing up to the hill. To one side of it was an old school bus. On the windshield of my car was a note.“Go meet Boyd. He’s in the room under the bunkhouse.” Boyd was the owner of the ranch and an artist, I’d been told, who had given up his connections to the world outside, except as they served the ranch.I figured the lodge shaped building for the bunkhouse, and headed for the room beneath it. I carried a small pouch of fresh tobacco I’d brought with me. It was considered good manners to bring an offering, and tobacco was the currency of these hills, dating back to the time before time, when the Blackfoot had never seen a white man’s face.I raised my hand to knock on the door and noticed it was slightly ajar. As I hesitated, a voice from within said,“It’s open. Come in.” Creepy.I opened the door and stepped into a small and cluttered room. Light filtered in through small windows on both the front, and side walls, and I immediately recognized the decorating technique so clearly demonstrated in the Bone Trailer. Shit was everywhere. Carvings, saw dust, chisels, knives and about a kazillion ashtrays, all brimming with what looked like marijuana roaches. Boyd sat a table or desk or something, mostly buried in books and carvings and the damned roach butts. He hardly looked up. “Jude said you were coming. I wasn’t sure if she was just trying to convince herself, but here you are.” I was convinced that I actually was there, so I responded.“Yeah, I made it. Everyone calls me ‘D’. Nice to meet you.” I put out my hand.“Um hmn.“ Boyd’s eloquence was obviously a thing of legend. He didn’t bother to turn all the way to face me, but gestured towards a small carved statue on the table right in front of me. I let my hand drop.“Whatta you think that is?” he said, squeezing a sidelong glance at me that quickly slid from face to feet and back again. I picked it up and turned it in my hand. It appeared to be a fat or pregnant woman, naked with arms crossed over her head, and a hole that ran through her stomach, like a smooth gap, worn by years of repeated rubbing. It was less then a foot tall.“Some kind of fertility symbol?” I ventured. “No, I mean, what is it really?” Not wanting to be rude to my new host, I pondered the statue, as well as the man asking the question. I’m nothing if not polite.“It feels like soap stone, recently carved, I’d say. Within the last few years, at least.” I hoped this was what he was looking for, that this wasn’t any more of a weird test than it had to be.“No, that’s obvious. I mean, really. What is it really?” He turned to look at me now. He was a tall and rangy man, his hair long and pulled back, more grey than dirty blonde anymore, with a square, set jaw and piercing blue eyes that stared in to me like x-rays. He just looked at me, without expression, unflinching. I imagined this is how he looked at the previous owners of all those bones and antlers, before he committed them to his displays. I decide to cut to the chase. I, too, had a brain and an attitude, and wasn’t about to back down easily, host or no host.“Fine. It’s a collection of sub-atomic particles in motion, held together bya unified field of energy.” The basic definition of matter seemed to be irrefutable. I stared back. A smile spread across his craggy face. I wasn’t sure I liked it.“Ah, but does that unified field of energy have consciousness?” Wow. This shit was deep, and this man was obviously no rube. He was asking me for acceptance of God, based on a little statue, within three minutes of our meeting. He’d walked me down this path like he was selling potatoes, and let me look into myself, into the existence of a collective soul, and now he just sat there grinning. Hardly what I expected from folk art people in the middle of nowhere.“Let’s find out”, I said, and tossed him the bag of tobacco. “What else do have to smoke?”“Everyone thinks that, because I roll my own and never empty the ashtrays”, he said sheepishly. All threat seemed to be gone from him instantly, as though he’d been a grinning boy in a mask, all along. “Can’t get that up here, these days, anyway.” He pulled along carved pipe of horn and wood from inside his little table, and began to pack it with the tobacco. He lit it, and drew deeply, like someone smoking weed, and passed the pipe to me.I took it and drew deeply myself, letting the sweet tobacco, so different than American cigarettes, enter and fill my lungs. I held it as long as he did, and let out a rich cloud of blue smoke which joined his in the filtering light of the little room. My head seemed to float a little, the edges of the room to soften. I felt a big hiccupy warmth spread through my throat and mouth, slowly moving down to my stomach. It felt good to relax my body after days of the attention road trip require. I smiled without meaning to. Boyd handed me a piece of heavy paper, the kind school kids use instead of canvas, for their arts and crafts.“You should stay for a sweat”, he said. “It’d be good for Jude, too.” He turned back to his little desk and began carving again. I looked down at the paper he’d handed me. “Stay as long as you want. There’s plenty to do.” It seemed to close the conversation, as though he knew I was beginning to drift on the smoke, still exhausted from my drive. I had questions of my own, now, but I let them drift for the time being. I examined the colorful markings on the paper, trimmings around some text, laid out in the middle, like a greeting card.It read, “No matter how you rationalize it, we were all conceived in a moment of passion.” Questions, indeed. I went outside to look for Jude. I didn’t want to disturb him any further. I’m nothing if not polite.


CHAPTER 3 Jude was sitting on the steps of the Bone Trailer. She was looking up the hill, past the old school bus that sat to the right of the bunkhouse. She was beautiful, still, even in this foreign landscape, wearing a printed dress she’d never be caught dead in, back in the Village. Those same big silver hoops bounced in the breeze, dangling from her ears, her wavy dark locks flitting around her face and neck, framing her eyes, brilliant green against her dark lashes, a color in complete contrast to the natural reddishness of her full mouth. She obviously new I was walking back toward her. She lowered her head for a second and then looked up. That wide flashing smile stole my heart again, as it always did, but there was a shadow of trouble there, somewhere behind her eyes. I sat down on next to her and pulled her close in an almost automatic movement. She leaned into me, her head against my neck. “Everything okay?” I asked.“Yeah. I just worry sometimes, you know that. It’s nothing. We can talk later.You wanna go on a tour?” This seemed to brighten her up, and I’m a guy that likes to know the territory, so I happily agreed. As we got up, I walked to the car.“Let’s take a little friend along, shall we?” Her look was dubious as I popped the trunk. I pulled a toolbox aside from the other junk in there, and opened it up. Closing and replacing the box, I showed her what was in my hand.“Is that pot?” she asked.“Yeah, just a little. I don’t know anybody here, and I figured you wouldn’t have gotten anything together. I thought it would be a nice surprise.”“A surprise? What other surprises do you have in there, D? I thought we talked about this. Open that box up again.” I opened the tool box without a word and stepped back with my arms straight out to my sides, palms up.She rummaged through it quickly, finding no other contraband. “See”, I offered. “It’s just a little weed. We agreed, no drugs, no problems, a fresh start. I didn’t think this would be a big deal. I’ll give it to Boyd if you want. I’ll throw it away. I just thought it would be…fun. Natural. You know.”“Yeah, I do know. That’s what worries me.” She pulled out my large flash light and looked down the hole in the center of the spare, fishing around as well, with her fingers. “There’s nothing there, Jude.” She looked at me. She looked at me like a person who wants to believe. Then she dropped the flash light back into the trunk and closed it. “Come on. We’ll burn that at the top of the hill. There’s a tee pee up there. First I want to show you the bus. I stayed there at first. I call it the Dennis Hopper Memorial Scholl Bus. You’re gonna love it.”The old school bus had been converted, in a manner of speaking, in to a home. The driver’s seat and door opener were there, like any old yellow, American Harvester school bus, but the remaining seats had been scrapped.Under the windows on the driver’s side of the interior was a long counter, with a sink and some rickety shelves. The sink drained in to a five gallon plastic bucket underneath. Across the isle was a couch against the wall and a sort of table & booth arrangement. The back third of the bus was a bedroom, behind a gaudy, but fading, beaded curtain. It was here I tried to coax Jude. She wasn’t having it, pushing back out past me with a heavy stage sigh, loud enough to be heard in the back row. I assumed that bringing the weed would besmirch me until we actually smoked it. Then it would be happy time. We climbed down the steps of the magic bus, and headed up the hill.It was a long walk, but a nice walk. We chatted about the bus, the sky, the sage, which actually is purple at certain times of the year, this being one of them. The sky, too, fell under our observations. Montana calls itself Big Sky Country. I kind of thought that ridiculous when I first saw it on a license plate. But, like the purple sage, it was undeniably true. The sky was huge, and when on a higher point of ground, it seemed as though you were suspended in it.We came around the last stand of small trees and brush and there we were.The top of the hill flattened off, almost a plateau, easily a hundred or more in diameter. It sloped gently up and away from us, to the far edge, where it broke in to a cliff, dropping off maybe fifty or sixty feet, before it turned to a very steep grade. In the center was the tee pee. Perhaps a dozen feet across, maybe fifteen feet high, it looked like a movie prop. Obviously, this thing was not the cone shaped skins of buffalo, wrapped around poles of natural wood. The posts were obviously lumber yard material, and the covering was some kind of cheap stucco, like the fake Mexican buildings at South Of The Border, on Interstate 95. There was a plywood door on the side that face the cliff, and some little plexiglas windows on the other sides.“Very authentic. I’m wondering if Geronimo is inside.” Jude glared a bit, and commented back as she opened the door and went in.“Geronimo was a Sioux, I think. That’s part of the Dakota Nation. They didn’t care for the Blackfoot, I hear. Or a smart ass. Of any kind.” Properly in my place, I followed her inside. There’s was a small cast iron stove in the center, with a pipe heading up the cone. This explained the weird poles. They were painted aluminum, held apart by metal rings, to keep the heat of the chimney from burning down the tee pee. There shelves around the edges, some like book shelves, others like pantry space, some were simply flat areas where hordes of candles sat, waiting to come alive. The inner walls were painted plywood. I tapped on with my knuckles.“Yeah, I know it looks funny,” she said, “but Boyd says the wind shreds anything up here, within a few months. Tee pees were designed for the open plain, usually a valley or low area. He finally had to cover it with wood and stucco, or take it down. It’s too nice up here to give up, I guess.”“You’re a regular tour guide,” I joked, stepping closer. “Maybe you need a couple of those orange cones on flash lights.”“Yeah. Or just one. To stuff up your ass.” She snatched the bag of pot from my pocket, and I sat down on the heavily padded rugs. She gave me a dirty look as she opened the bag, and then sat down on my lap. “I missed you, asshole. Every fucking minute.” She went back to rolling, and didn’t say a word. It was time to simply bask.-We spent the rest of the morning up there, wandering around the tee pee, pretending to play hide and seek, poking at rocks, standing on the edge of the cliff, looking out at the amazingly huge sky. I found some white stone fragments sticking out of the ground on the cliff’s edge. I pulled one loose, rolling it in my hand.“Hey, Jude, check this out! I called out to her. “This stone is almost cold to the touch. I think it might be marble.” She came and took the rock from my hand, turning it back & forth. “You may be right. It sure looks like marble. Doesn’t that only form under deep water, though?”“Yeah, but maybe these mountains were beneath an ocean once. Things change. Given enough time, anything can change, turn completely around.”I had no idea how accurate that was going to prove to be.-It was early afternoon by the time we got back to the Bone Trailer. Again, we sat on the steps, and I tried my best to swallow some dried fruit and nuts that Jude had bags of, stashed inside. I could see why Yogi Bear was always stealing picnic baskets. I desperately wanted a slice of pepperoni from St. Marks Pizza, but Booboo & the Ranger were having none of it. Second Avenue seemed like another planet from here. “Yeah, Boyd’s pretty firm on wanting to keep the place organic. Except for stuff we really need, like gas for the cars, lamp fuel, batteries and stuff. He certainly doesn’t want any drugs or alcohol around.” This last bit was directed at me, rather than part of the informational tour, and I knew it.We both did. Still, I said nothing, and she went on about the local artists and the few people she’d met here. None of them were in evidence today, and Boyd had apparently gone off somewhere to be cosmic. Jude, on the other hand, wanted to go in to town.‘Baby, I just got here and…” I pondered just what the hell I’d be doing for the next eternity of forever out here, besides sitting on the steps, gagging on dry fruit, and thinking about how often it was going to send me to that little outhouse I’d yet to visit. It hadn’t smelled to bad, from a distance, but the buzzing of flies around it had sounded like Marshall Stacks, turned up to eleven, waiting for that first magic note. Or scream. “..what the hell,” I said, playing generous. I could only imagine how badly she wanted a break from this. “What about that ditch on the way in? Don’t people get stuck there?”“No, there’s a secret to it. It’s all timing”, she said, and then, looking back mischievously, “and, you gotta have some balls.” She squealed as I chased her around the car, and then laughing, finally jumped inside. I loved seeing her so happy, this carefree, this healthy. And I thought, too, so much in love. There were no monstrous predators from hell waiting at the gate. There were, however, about half a dozen bulls, standing there, watching Jude roll her eyes, as I refused to get out and open it. Finally, she reached over and turned off the motor, snatching the keys and getting out. She walked straight to the gate and opened it slowly, looking directly at the bulls the entire time. She headed back to the car and opened my door.“I don’t want to meet your little friends just now, honey. Maybe later.”“Oh, shut up and move over. If you can’t stare down a bull, you can’t drive either.” She hopped in and started the car, easing it through the gate. We were on their side now. She moved more slowly, more gracefully this time, never breaking eye contact with our bovine audience. As she headed back to running car, she stopped a few feet short and bent at the waist, flipping her dress up to show them her beautiful ass. They snorted and began to stomp as she jumped in and took off. I thought we’d pee from laughing.As we approached the gulley, I started to say something. Jude cut me off.“I know”, is all she said. We were approaching it fast, and I started again.“I KNOW”, she said again, this time sounding pissed. She braked just a bit before, so we slowed slightly, and let the car slide hard over the edge. There was a severe bump, and then we were headed up the other side, Jude stomping on the gas, and projecting us over the further edge.“Sorry”, she said. “Boyd showed me the first day. I thought you’d worry about your car, but it’s alright, really.” She turned briefly, and gave me a quick smile. The relief came as a welcome rush, and we joked our way in to town.-I dropped Jude off at some little carpentry shop and tool supply place. She was picking up some part that Boyd had ordered, she told me, and I had a couple of hours to poke around and get some supplies while she waited for them to get it together. It was less than twenty minutes before a local police cruiser pulled me over. While this passed without serious incident, it became very clear to me that, in small town America, I often look exactly like The Guy They’re Looking For, and get to ponder that while they run me for warrants. Needless to say, this put a damper on my visit to town, and I went back to the shop to hang out with Jude. I figured it would be more fun to shop together, anyway, and it crossed my mind that I might get less resistance in the company of a pretty girl, particularly one who had been seen around town in the company of locals.There was nobody in the front of the shop, so I walked around the side of the building to the back, looking for whoever worked there. I could hear machines running as I came around the corner, and began to smell the sawdust. Jude was in the work area, talking to a tall guy in jeans and t-shirt, obviously having some kind of intense conversation. I hung back, watching, in case of any trouble, but also knowing how Jude likes to handle things herself. The next few moments seemed to happen in slow motion.The guy in jeans stepped towards her and raised his hand towards her face. Just as I was about to run in to the room, he did the unspeakable. He brushed back a lock of her hair from over her eye. She didn’t even flinch.In fact, she smiled. My stomach dropped about a mile. My blood turned to ice. He placed his other hand around her waist and pulled her close. The she did the unspeakable. She threw her arms around his neck and kissed him on the mouth.