by Tom H. Brooks 3

March 15th, 2002

Back in LA, baby……sunny, windy….beautiful.  The smog and filth are blowing away on the breeze.
In some sick way, it`s good to be home…..
“Welcome to the Jungle, baby……….you`re gonna die!”
Guns n Roses
You have to wonder why I am always itching to leave LA, I always want to be somewhere else, and then
when I return, my heart is filled with joy.  Mexican food everywhere, scumbags lurking on street corners,
angry bus drivers, funny bus drivers, sunshine, oh, the sunshine.  With a stupid grin on my red face, I
walk around, reconnecting with the city with “LA Woman” reverberating in my skull…..
“I see your hair is burning
hills are filled with fire
if they say I never loved you
you know they are a liar….
driving down your freeways
midnight alleys roam
cops in cars
the topless bars
never saw a woman
so alone
So I was waiting for the 156 bus down Cahuenga into Hollywood (I am back at JB`s house in the hills).  It was
hot and I was sweating.  I got a ride instead from some Persian dude in an IROC with a pockmarked face.  He
was tweaking big time.  As he drove down the hill, he lit up and hit the meth pipe.  I took it in stride but in my
head I was laughing my fucking ass off.  Classic.  Of course, he offered it to me, but I really wasn`t in the mood
to get home and jump right into the crystal meth swamp.  2 days back in town and I`m already hitching rides
from Iranian tweakers with black hole eyes.   God bless this filthy smog-drenched city!
THE ODYSSEY 2   by Tomer
Alright, 3 days home and the initial thrill of being home has already worn off.  I am an emotional roller coaster.
I love this city AND I fucking hate it.  Sometimes I think my hometown hates me back.  She refuses to show
me any love.  My ass is dead broke, I have no job, I hate looking for one, and I have no solid home.  If not for
the kindness of my boy JB, I`d be living in a refrigerator box in Echo Park, eating Triscuit crackers and government
cheese and popping little purple time-release morphine pills.  Maybe I`d find a 17-year-old Puerto Rican runaway
to take care of me.  Or maybe I`d be living in a tent in Runyon Canyon.  I am a leaf blowing on a chaotic wind,
I never know where I`ll end up next.
“I may be going to hell in a bucket, babe,
but at least I`m enjoying the ride….”
Can`t get that Mexico trip out of my mind.  The tropics are in my dreams every night.  LA is freezing at night
compared to where I`ve been the last couple of months.
Anyhoo, I decided to continue being a lunatic and do my “camping” thing in LA.  It is March 20th, the first day
of Spring, 2002.  I spent a freezing night in Ports O`Call in a little nook I found, wrapped up, shivering in a thin
disposable blanket.  I woke up like clockwork, every 2 hours and prayed for sunrise.  It finally came at 5:50am
and it was the most beautiful thing I`d ever seen.  Yes, spring has dawned.  I`m glad the horns of those huge
container ships woke me up to see this.  I`m going for breakfast and coffee and then I`m off to Cabrillo Beach
for some warmth, sunshine, reading and writing……
Did you ever notice how there are no Starbucks coffee joints in the ghettos or the blue collar worker parts
of town?  You have to go up to the border of Palos Verdes if you want it in San Pedro.  I suspect it is
because hard working poor folks are smart enough to know that paying 5 dollars for a nonfat decaf latte
is just plain fucking ridiculous when you can get a regular coffee at 7/11 for $1.18.
Standing at Gaffey and 26th street in the morning sun, 2 hours after sunrise,  I watch a giant container
ship far below, moving through the harbor haze and mist like a dream leviathan.
I`m now at the top of the hill in San Pedro, near the Korean Friendship Bell.  I look below me at the vast
ports of LA and Long Beach.  San Pedro is laid out beneath me in miniature like a little toy town.  Ports O`Call,
where I was not 2 1/2 hours ago, looks so far away, and sometimes I amaze myself at the large distances
I cover on my skateboard.
“I think you hear me knockin`
and I think I`m comin` in….”
I just saw an old 80-something grizzled sailor type man with a little white-haired Asian woman.  I bet they met
in Pearl Harbor or Manila back in WWII.
One of my last memories of Cuyatlan in Mexico was my final swim at sunset.  The sky was indigo and purple,
the water was 80 degrees and the ocean was calm with small waves.  5 pelicans in V-formation flew about
6 feet over my head going north along the coast.  Coconut palms lined the shore and a huge yellow moon
rose over the volcanic mountains.  The reason I thought of this now is simple.  I sit at Point Fermin in Sunken
City.  I am under a date palm on the first day of Spring.  I drink a 40oz. of Bud and smoke some green and I
listen to the blessed silence, which speaks volumes.  A lone pelican glides silent and swift just above me.
Memories…any one thing can always stir up thoughts of another.  It is all connected, the chain of thought,
the thread of life that holds fiction and reality together in an endless tangled bond, forever interchangeable….
“Memory; the space in which a thing happens for a second time.”
Paul Auster
As strange and eccentric, as smart and as benevolent, as humorous and sad and angry and crazy as I am…..
it just doesn`t matter……I wouldn`t want to be anybody else…….
A stupid rhyming poem for your amusement….
there is a place beyond the sea
I know for sure I`d rather be
where all the women look so fine
and all the pussy tastes like wine
palms are green lagoons are blue
I`m fucked here and so are you
farewell my friends I`m off for fun
away to the land of the setting sun….
Whatever remains of any Viking blood within me is fast slipping away.  I simply can`t stand
cold weather anymore.  I don`t like it.  Even LA cold.  The tropics has ruined me for anything
else.  HA!  Now I`m talking about sunny LA as if it`s the great white north.  Can you believe
I lived in New Jersey?!  If I lived there now, I`d die.  Give me two tickets to Paradise, please.
(the funny thing about all this babbling now, is that soon after this, I was living in NYC and 
now I`m in the mountains of Japan, for Chrissakes!  You see, we just NEVER know what
the future holds.)
All day long, I`ve been trying so hard to get away from people.     (Quick quote from Charles
Bukowski`s “Barfly”:  “People, don`t you hate them?”   Buk  “No, but I seem to feel better
when they`re not around.” )  It really has been a quiet day, just a few people.  I was hoping
to see NOBODY, like times in Mexico.  Now that is next to impossible in LA.  I`ve been
wandering closer and closer to these unstable Point Fermin cliffs in order to get sunset to
myself and I think I`ve finally succeeded.  I am alone on an isolated slab of rock, perched
high above the sea.  Death is only 8 feet away and 200 feet down.
Well, that lasted for 15 minutes.  I was wrong.  My turf has been invaded by a bunch of fat,
shaved-headed chollos who are throwing rocks nearby, speaking Mexican Ebonics and
generally making a ruckus.  I`m outta here.
So, I`ve relocated my sunset spot up near the Korean Bell and I`m hiding from the Japanese
in an old WW2 underground bunker.  Of course, I`m smoking some chronic.  Catalina island
is a long blue mountain on the horizon and the sky is a canvas of pastel hues of pink, orange,
blue and purple.
I`m still by the bell and I drifted off into a pot nap.  I was woken up by a big friendly fluffy dog
that came out of nowhere and started sniffing my face with his cold wet nose.  He probably
thought I was dead.  Then I saw a coyote or a fox or something.  It is 7:30pm.
2nd night in a row in my Ports O`Call nook, shivering under a blanket.  Why do I do it?  Good
question…whatever, why not?  Tomorrow I go to Long Beach and catch the blue line train
back to downtown LA and then red line home by dusk.  A master plan, I might add (for a psycho).
On the waterfront, nightbird flying, another cold fucking night on the docks.  It is forlorn, lonely,
gorgeous; only the lapping of water on the pilings and the clanking sound of creaking masts
rocking on the gentle waves that roll across the harbor.  The occasional horn of a distant ship
like a banshee in the night.  I sleep.
Morning, on the bus to Long Beach.  I am the only passenger.  The black lady bus driver
laughs and talks to herself and I wonder if she even remembers I am here.  I hope she doesn`t
drive us off the Vincent Thomas Bridge.  It is a misty and hazy morning.  Terminal Island
used to have a popular resort many years ago but those old days are l o n g  gone.  It is nothing
but industry now….scrap metals, coal, junkyards, shipping containers, trucks, and loading
cranes as far as the eye can see.  And, of course, the bridges at each end.  Long Beach
waterfront buildings lie at the end of this road like grayish toy blocks in the smoggy haze.
So often as I skateboard and/or walk along, I get this feeling; I watch everyone rushing to and
fro, I am distant…apart, almost invisible.  I am enclosed in a shell of thought, as if looking
through a window at the world.  I see movies being made, buildings being built, both movie
people and construction guys looking suitably important with their walkie-talkies and cell phones.
I see lawyers, doctors, real estate people, salesmen, bartenders….they rush, they drive, they
work themselves to death without ever really SEEING anything.  (“sometimes I just get tired
of thinking of all the things I don`t want to be….”  Bukowski )  They seem to live in a vacuum,
to inhabit a void.  They fulfill their function as working drones of various sorts, this much is
self-evident.  I, however, after all these years, am still baffled.  I don`t even know what I want
to do.  I don`t even know if I care.  None of the above-mentioned bullshit interests me in the
slightest.  I am not a part of that rat race nor would I want to be.  I want for nothing save
scribbling in my little books, taking some photos, and traveling wherever I want to go…..
I think it`s really funny the way they put a whole bunch of palm trees (fake?) on those industrial
islands off Long Beach.  That way, the smokestacks, towers, and oil rigs can give the
appearance of being some bizarre modern mutation of a “Gilligan`s Island” type of paradise.
So they sit out there in the low mist and fester with the oil fumes in the air and I sit here
enveloped in a cloud of marijuana smoke.
I am sitting amongst a flock of seabirds that I`ve never seen before in LA.  They`re just looking
at me write with their little yellow eyes.  It kind of reminds me of those Mexican seagulls I saw
down south.  They have stubby black bodies, white breasts and necks and pointy elongated
fire-red beaks……..
The sand in Long Beach has beautiful silver and gold flecks in it as the morning light filters
down through the haze.  I have a theory as to why.  It is the myriad of chemical pollutants
and compounds that has been dumped into the harbor over the years and washed ashore.
It has blended with the natural properties of the sand to give it an unearthly glow.
mellow….laid back….relaxed….tranquil….I like beach people because I am one of `em.
Chatted with an old man named Gil about world travel.  They just don`t make `em like Gil
anymore; friendly, dapper, old-fashioned grit and full of funny stories.  Maybe I`ll be able to
pull that off when I get old….who knows?
I must have drifted off again.  I am awakened by a motorboat with a water skier attached in
a sunlit plume of sea spray.  And then, just like that, they are gone.  I find myself on this
gold and silver metallic-looking beach on the vast harbor waterfront.  The sun is white through
the mist, a blinding diamond cut to a dazzling perfection.  The water is smooth with tiny ripples,
a million points of light.  The laughter of children is carried on the light spring breeze.  Waves
lap on the nearly empty shoreline and the squawk of seabirds pierces the air.  An occasional
distant siren.  I am alone here at the southern frontier of Los Angeles County and there are
no answers here for me or anyone.  Only silence.  And that in itself is an answer.  I fall back
into blissful slumber and have tropical dreams…….H
                                                                             a    w    i
                                                                                            i   ………….
I am a bum.
The End (of this story)       You know I don`t really mean that, don`t you?
“That train was the one piece of life in all the deadly land; it was the one actor, the one spectacle
fit to be observed in this paralysis of man and nature.  And when I think of how the railroad has
been pushed through this unwatered wilderness and haunt of savage tribes…how at each stage
of construction, roaring, impromptu cities, full of gold and lust and death, sprang up and then
died away again, and are now but wayside stations in the desert; how in these uncouth places
pig-tailed Chinese pirates worked side by side with border ruffians and broken men from Europe,
talking together in mixed dialects, mostly oaths, gambling drinking, quarreling, and murdering
like wolves.  And then, when I go on to remember that all this epic turmoil was conducted by
gentlemen in frock coats, and with a view to nothing more extraordinary than a fortune and a
subsequent visit to Paris, it seems to me as if this railway were the one typical achievement
of the age in which we live, as if it brought together into one plot all the ends of the world and all
the degrees of social rank, and offered to some great writer the busiest, the most extended, and
the most varied subject for an enduring literary work.  If it be romance, if it be contrast, if it be
heroism that we require, what was Troy town to this?”
Robert Louis Stevenson
“The Amateur Emigrant”
Yeah, so……I`m gonna go ride the train……
Nope, nothing but scumbags……
If I`d had a camera I could`ve snapped an immortal classic.  Two skinny white trash tweakers
in a beat up, burgundy-colored Monte Carlo.  These fuckers would`ve ended up in the Smithsonian.
Thrillride Busride
Various freaks and colorful characters all the time.  Today I talked with a few people at the same
time which is unusual.  Mr. Don Baines, an old black guy;  Also involved in the jibber jabber,
a little Filipina lady, a pervert with a rapist mustache, some Latino dude and a 17 to 20 year old
tweaker chick named Nicole who was coming on strong to me.  No thanks, girl….forget it.
NOBODY knows LA like I do.
“The best writing is always visual.”
Paul Theroux
Here`s a visual for you…..that Great Dane dog just took the HUGEST shit I`ve ever seen.
The lady could`ve ridden on the back of that fucking drooling monster in a saddle.  She
needed a tractor to clean up that dump but instead she had to settle for a hefty bag.
freaks mutants more freaks…..
welcome to the night train….bitches….
“We were at the shore and traveling alongside a palmy beach.  This was the Mosquito
Coast, which extends from Puerto Barrios in Guatemala to Colon in Panama.  It is wild
and looks like the perfect setting for a story of castaways.  What few villages and ports
lie along it are derelict; they declined when shipping did, and returned to the jungle.  Massive
waves were rolling toward us, the white foam vivid in the twilight; they broke just below
the coconut palms near the track.  At this time of day, nightfall, the sea is the last thing to
darken: it seems to hold the light that is slipping from the sky; and the trees are black.
So in the light of this luminous sea and the pale, still-blue eastern sky, and to the splashing
of the breakers, the train racketed on toward Limon.”
Paul Theroux
“The Old Patagonian Express”
“I was in a place that looked like a ragged version of Paradise; no roads, no factories, no houses,
no missionaries even.  A person could come here and start all over again, build his own town, make
his own world.  I had this feeling strongly in Costa Rica.”
“Writing a book is not glorified reportage but an almost indescribable transformation, which is what
fiction is.”
“Travel is a vanishing act, a solitary trip down a pinched line of geography to oblivion.”
Paul Theroux
MacArthur Park, 7:30 am…just ate Denny`s and now I`m sipping a 40oz for dessert.  I have been
here 5 minutes and I`ve already been accosted by a black crackhead bitch with white lips and some
pedophile-looking mofo who wanted a sip of my beer.  No way Jack….where have those lips been?
No, don`t tell me!  The fountain is shooting up in a luminescent spray as the sun gets higher over
the downtown skyscrapers which are mirrored in the opaque green mirror of this filthy lake.  They
say this lake was drained a few years ago to clean out all the body parts that have been dumped in
here.  It`s a beautiful world, full of love and joy and friendship and understanding.  The shiny
buildings shimmer unevenly across the rippling sun-dappled surface.  The song of the birds is
hypnotizing and it takes me away from the buses and the sirens and the chaos of the city.
 A brief snippet of conversation between a sketchy black dude and myself;
“What`s happenin` cuz?  Doin` a little shoppin` dis mornin`?”
   Just wandering around, brother….
“Lemme know if you change your mind…”
When I walk and skateboard through bad areas of LA where there are no white folks I look like:
A. A druggie
B. A plainclothes cop
C. A lost tourist
D. An idiot
E. All of the above
In LA, almost all of the “beautiful people” are on the Westside.  Downtown, the barrios and generally
all over the Eastside, there are nothing but freaks, mental cases, junkies and mutants.  It looks like
Vincent Van Gogh`s painting, The Potato Eaters.  (Look it up online). Occasionally, I will see a flustered
and deranged white businessman who is so seriously distressed that he probably couldn`t get a job
in Century City even if he tried.  I don`t care, I like these crazy fuckers.  They fascinate me.
I always find it amazing the way smokers zone in with uncanny radar on someone with cigarettes.
I just ate at my delicious taco stand at 6th and Park View Ave. and now I am in the park again watching
a woman hunched over her man, combing the bugs out of his hair.  I wonder if she realizes that in her
posture she has a disturbing resemblance to a mama chimp picking lice out of a babies fur….
Nobody does these crazy IN LA skateboard journeys like me, I tell ya………NOBODY!
I am now downtown at the park on Angels Knoll at 11:30 am—the sun filters through the green, leafy
trees as I smoke a toasty Mexican cigarette and read Theroux…..the pleasure is all mine.
The towers of the city soar above me in all their glory, piercing the blue sky above……
2pm….LA River………after 2 years, my painting is still on the wall at the center of the river.  I painted
it during a particularly dry season so I was able to get over there without dipping my feet in the filthy
water, but now the water is flowing higher so the center is inaccessible.  Looks like I picked the perfect
spot to paint.  I drink a beer, smoke one, and toast immortality.  What this painting means to me is that
I have left my mark on LA, however small it may be; I was here and it is here and the river runs through it….
I just think it is so goddamned funny to lie around down by the LA river as if it is some tree-lined shady glade.
I mean, for god`s sake, it`s a green sewage flow with colorful graffiti all around!  It is desolate, haunting.
It is a vision of what LA once was, what it has lost, when this was actually a tree-lined river.  But, of course,
being LA, the powers that be went ahead and cemented it over and completely re-shaped the landscape.
There are a surprising amount of aquatic birds and not a soul in sight.  Not bad at all, really.  I close my eyes
and listen.
Going to Chinatown to leer at the sexy Asian babes.  Found a new spot I`ve never been to….Saigon plaza,
full of Vietnamese chicks and rock-bottom prices for shopping.  Tried some Vietnamese spring rolls…tasty.
Buses on the Eastside are fucked up….graffiti everywhere….
Back in Hollywood……The Grove, a new mall next to the classic and rustic Farmer`s Market.  A new mall, yeah,
just what we need.  Ridiculous to build a new one a few short blocks from Beverly Center but what do you expect?
It looks like a regular fucking Disneyland and surely it is destined to be a hit in a city whose god is Shopping.
It is a perfect example of the ever-forward march of relentless merchandising.  (At this time, little did I know that
I would soon be working at this very place at Marmalade Cafe.  I think I was just mad when I wrote this because
I had been going to Farmer`s Market since I was a kid and it used to be so peaceful.  Times change, faster than
we ever expect them to…..)
Had a conversation at Farmer`s Market with a gentleman from the old school and we shared our disgust at the
mutated growth of the Grove and the mega-corporations and developers.
“Imagine there`s no religion…….
You may say I`m a dreamer,
but I`m not the only one…….”
John Lennon
“Community service and I`m still the Mack….”
This is priceless—
I am doing community service for one of my transgressions.  I am doing a Red Cross blood drive at the office of the
mayor right in the belly of the beast….the downtown LAPD headquarters, HA!  With joints in my pocket!  I am
surrounded by cops and I tell ya, when I walk outta here, I am going straight to the scumbags on Skid Row to get
a beer and smoke one of these joints…..a day of contrast, of paradox, of irony….
Just spent the last 15 minutes talking to a sexy Latina lady cop named Martinez.  She was very nice and we spoke
of her job and many adventures and donating blood and fear of needles.  We were laughing our asses off and I told
her she was a wacko, to which she agreed and told me I was a little crazy myself.  I called a cop a wacko!  That
doesn`t happen everyday.  This day just gets better and better.  Lots of lovely ladies coming through here and every
one of them with a smile for me and a charming conversation.  That Martinez can pat me down anytime.
Olvera Street later…..finally got that beer and smoke break…..ahhhhh, just like being back in Mexico as I sit in this plaza…
“Close your eyes and rest now.  The troubles of this world are yours no longer.  You have earned the right to sleep.”
About 45 black folks milling around outside the Million Dollar Hotel (The Rosslyn).  I got offered drugs more times than
I ever have in my life in 8 short minutes between Spring and Main on 5th Street.  (Recent LA news: The Million Dollar
Hotel is now, as of 2011, called the Rosslyn Lofts, a fancy place again that is the center of an area that is rapidly 
becoming gentrified….amazing.)
“Every man dies, but not every man really lives.”
Atlas Drugged
A modern date:  Two Hollywood types on the harbor channel at San Pedro.  Acapulco restaurant, it`s a beautiful day,
so much to look at, so much to talk about.  The man is on his cellphone.  The woman is texting.  Not just for a minute,
like …. a long time, the whole meal.  The entire duration of my lunch, they say scarcely a word to each other.  They
don`t even LOOK at each other.  Now, that`s what I call “connected.”
I have seen at least 5 cars drive by today with dudes just puffing away on herb inside, with pot smoke billowing
out of the windows.  It just makes me laugh.  Everyone smokes in LA.
A seemingly infinite amount of space and air in the world, so why do fucking bugs always fly in my eye?!?
Three of Clubs nightclub in Hollywood.  Great band and hot chicks…..
“pretty face and a dirty look
knew right away
that I had to get my hooks in you….
uh huh uh uh!!
Your pretty face is a goin` to hell
honey honey
I can tell
your pretty face is going to hell…..”
“Your daddy`s rich and your mama`s good-lookin`
you`re a real, fine girl……”
Iggy Pop
“I never pump up my vulgarity.  I wait for it to arrive on its own terms.”
Charles Bukowski
“I knew all the ghosts here.  It was the darkness of home.”
Paul Theroux
Happy Easter 2002….Runyon Canyon, alone in my secret spot.
Beer, marijuana cigarettes, pure solitude and dreams of elsewhere….
a good book and the song of the birds and the wind in the trees…
Hollywood Blvd…..goddamn, I love that sexy, freaky-styley Tokyo b-girl look….(foreshadow)
Clark Gable`s footprints at Grauman`s Chinese Theatre, same size as mine, 10 and a half….
“Frankly, my dear, I don`t give a damn….”
Jack Lemmon “Magic Time”
This tourist attraction is quite a spectacle….thousands of picture-taking tourists holding
fake Oscar statues, filming each other, talking to Spiderman or Marilyn Monroe, etc…..what a trip…
I just saw a tiny sparrow fly away with a Taco Bell tortilla at least three times his size…strong little guy….
“Are you stalking me girl?  Because that would be super….”
Dancing Jesus webpage (go to Google, and type in Dancing Jesus and see what you find on YouTube…hysterical.  DO IT!)
So, I`ve been watching Fox 10 O`Clock news on this second day of April, 2002, and I must say,
it makes me fucking sick.  Those maniacs in the Middle East just never stop.  Their stupid, pathetic
little piece of desert land, their Gaza Strip or whatfuckingever….sometimes I think that place should
just be napalmed so no one could have it.  Perhaps that would solve the problem once and for all.
Nostradamus was right, the end begins in the Middle East, maybe not so literally, “the end”, but
HUGE problems nonetheless.  Those dumbasses are gonna blow up the whole world with their
“HOLY WARS.”  I watch the hatred spread across Europe and the world, even right here in LA down
on Wilshire with thousands of Jews and Palestinians protesting and screaming at each other.  Paris,
Cairo, Rome etc….there is no end to this madness.  This only further confirms what I`ve always
suspected, or more boldly still, WHAT I`VE ALWAYS KNOWN;  Humans never learn.  The past
has taught us nothing, nothing at all.  We are just a bunch of super-evolved talking monkeys with
hearts filled with hate and short tempers over minor differences, insignificant little matters.  Images
of horrendous violence flicker across the TV screen and I am induced into a certain uncomfortable
yet oddly pleasant sense of numbness and creeping doom.  I weep for the future.  More trouble in
Iraq…George Bush says something else stupid, as usual.  I am further desensitized.  I take a shot
of tequila and I drink another beer and light up a funny-looking cigarette and exhale with an exhausted
sigh.  It is futile to fight it.  The chaos will continue.  The angry apes cannot stop beating their chests
and yelling long enough to settle their disagreements.  There is no solution.  The only one that could
possibly work was Lennon`s idea……”Imagine……..”
John was lucky to die when he did.
To this day, listening to Grateful Dead live CDs takes me back to another better time.  Indescribable, you
had to be there (like me, 60 times or so) to feel it; A GOOD VIBE, no hatred, all about the music, something
that seems increasingly hard to find in this day and age, 2002.  A nostalgic tear appears in the corner of my eye,
for lost things and lost youth….and I quickly wipe it away….
“Young girl with fire…..
Young child with dreams,
dream every dream on your own….”
Neil Diamond
“A man sets out to draw the world.  As the years go by, he peoples a space with images of provinces, kingdoms,
mountains, bays, ships, islands, fishes, rooms, instruments, stars, horses, and individuals.  A short time
before he dies, he discovers that the patient labyrinth of lines traces the lineaments of his own face.”
Jorge Luis Borges
“The Maker”
“Lie Down in Darkness”
William Styron
“I don`t doubt that instant communication has been good for business, even for the publishing business,
but it has done nothing for literature, and might even have harmed it.  In many ways, connection has
been disastrous.  We have confused information (of which there is too much) with ideas (of which there
are too few).  I found out much more about the world and myself by being unconnected.  Having lived
through the electronic revolution, I know that much of what I`ve seen is not progress, but misleading,
creating the illusion of knowledge, which is in fact a profound ignorance.”
Paul Theroux   (And all this, coming from me 10 years ago, as I now sit here sending this to you, ON A COMPUTER, no less.  The irony is everywhere…)
“Down in the valley by the sea….”
“What`s up cool breeze?”
This week I`ve talked to Pig (JB`s pitbull) and talked to myself more than I`ve spoken to humans….
“If it keeps on raining
the levee`s gonna break
and if the levee breaks
I`ll have no place to stay…”
Led Zeppelin
“For in this life
we dance not long,
but when we rest
remains our song…”
“You have the right to kill me,
but you have no right to judge me…”
“Colonel Kurtz” in “Apocalypse Now”
Ahhhh, the magic of a day spent flowing with the river of life, no plans at all,
just living from moment to moment….it`s pure bliss, everything that happens
is meant just for you…..freedom…..
“To photograph is to hold one`s breath when all one`s faculties are joined
in the face of a fleeting reality; it is then that the capture of an image is a 
great physical and intellectual joy…it is a manner of crying out, of freeing
oneself, and not of proving or asserting one`s own originality.  It is a way of life….”
Henri Cartier-Bresson – master of the “decisive moment” in photography
“Right now, I must wander off to bed, for my head gives me untold pain and my eyes
are orbs of fire in my chalk-white face.”
Hunter S. Thompson  “Proud Highway: the saga of a desperate Southern gentleman”
“So I just lie there in my room, ringing the bell for more beer and waiting for something to happen…”
“He is not particularly happy, but neither is he particularly sad.  He just sits, and thinks, and wonders…”
“I saw more clearly than they ever did yet remained powerless to alter my situation.”
Henry Miller
“Life goes on.  Hopes rise and dreams flicker and die.  Love plans for tomorrow and loneliness
thinks of yesterday.  Life if beautiful and living is pain.  The sound of music floats down a dark
street.  A young girl looks out a window and wishes she were married.  A drunk sleeps under a
bridge.  It is tomorrow.”
“If I have to explain, you`ll never understand…”
Charlie Parker
“Wake up you sleepyhead
put on some clothes, shake off the bed
throw another log on the fire for me
I`ll make some breakfast and coffee
look out my window, what do I see?
A crack in the sky
and a hand reaching down to me….
All the nightmares came today
and it looks as though they`re here to stay
What are we coming to?
No room for me, no room for you…
I think about a world to come
where the books were found by the golden ones
written in name, written it all,
by a puzzled man who questioned what we were here for….
Oh, you pretty things……”
David Bowie
Philosophy is a real mindfuck
sensory overload one might say
“Homo sapiens have outgrown their use….”
“Remember, if things don`t go your way,
just keep complaining until they do….”
“Hollywood is leading our kids down a moral sewer…”
Homer Simpson
“Do you have any skills?”
`not really`
“hmm, public relations….I`ll make a call….”
“I`m warning you, stay back!  I fought my way off Mickey Rourke`s houseboat!”
Why worry about walking in “bad areas” of town when bullets are flying everywhere anyway (post offices, McDonald`s,
Medical Clinics, etc)?  Why be scared when you could get hit by a truck at any moment?  Why worry about suitcase
dirty bombs or anything else?  We are walking on eggshells, broken glass, dirty needles and the downtrodden are
everywhere.  Their numbers are growing.  Perverted Catholic priests are fondling their altar boys, naked drugged-up
female junkies are wandering on the freeways and the killers just keep on killing.  The Bush family is in charge which
is the same as a group of howler monkeys trying to run the Pepsi corporation.  Why not turn to religion?  No, wait,
that causes the most problems of all.  “Can`t we all just get along?”  In a word, NO.  So, as I said, don`t worry.
Just watch TV until your eyes bleed—works for me.
“I went through a period of rejection, getting close on things but not getting them, having no money, leeching off friends
and losing lovers because they thought I was a no-good bum.  Eventually, things got better.”
Anonymous TV star  (carved in the cement at Hollywood and Highland)
“…to affirm my belief in man as an individual and independent entity.  Certainly not independence in the everyday sense
of the word, but pertaining to a freedom and mobility of thought that few people are able–or even have the courage to achieve.”
Even though there are thousands of words in the English language, the average person only uses between 500 and 1500
of these words in their daily lives….over and over again…..
Well, here we are, my friends…at the end of Street Journal 5, another fascinating and bizarre miniaturized tome from the disturbed
and erudite and curious and erratic mind of one of those “Generation X`ers”.  There is much to be learned out there and in here
and yet, I feel that neither you nor I has learned much of anything.  We all just blunder forward, making the same mistakes
again and again, walking into the same walls.  I invite you to join me again in Street Journal 6 (forthcoming in May of 2002) to walk
some new highways together and perhaps fall off some new mountains….
“This is the famous Budweiser Beer.
We know of no brand produced by any other brewer which costs so much to brew and age.
Our exclusive beechwood aging produces a taste, a smoothness, and a drinkability you will find
in no other beer at any price.”
“Let the dead bury the dead….”



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