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Neglify wrote a book

Neglify

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SAN FRANCISCO DAZE

a story about drugs, love and​
the pursuit of nothingness​

~~~​

This past summer I had the opportunity to spend some time in the woods with my best friend. My aunt passed away last year—Rest In Peace Rhonda, you were a great soul, much love forever—and I was surprised to find out that she left me a small sum of money. It was my aunt's desire that I pursue my goal of becoming a writer. So that's what I did. ​

Over the course of three months in the Northern California pines I wrote a book about my life. I kinda tried to write “Fear and Loathing in San Francisco” from my weirdo point of view. I wanted the book to be chock full of Neglify, not just some collection of goofy stories. After reading this you will know so much more about me than you ever thought you wanted to know. Hopefully other people will be able to decipher all of my gibberish.​

I was able to complete a first draft before I had to return to San Francisco, and I've spent the last four months working on revisions. It's still “not quite there just yet” but I'm to the point where I need feedback and criticisms and reactions. Basically I need to send out a preview copy to my peeps, a beta release if you will. ​

This forum has been my virtual rec center for eight years now and I wanted to share this with y'all exclusively, because this is where friends are. I'm also sending it out to some IRL friends in the hopes to get more feedback. Books and novels are very easy to self-publish these days but I don't want to rush this out the door and make myself look like a complete imbecile. There are things in this book that I'm still unhappy with, but I can't torture myself forever. ​

Basically what I'm saying is that I need people to read it and tell me what sucks and what works. I'm not looking for golden praise, I'm looking to improve my craft. And I'm trying to make people laugh and think. 

To anybody that does read this: THANK YOU. Leave your comments in the thread, or send me a private message, please let me know what you thought of my humorous ramblings.

~~~

Download the book for free at my blogspot, click Here.

Current format is PDF, future upgrades to come.

~~~

Not Safe For Work!!!
Graphic language, adult situations, true shit, and reckless substance abuse.​

Page count: 298​
Genre: Gonzo Biographical​
Tagline: Take a little trip through Fog City. Life Seems Different here.

Synopsis:
A year in the life of an outcast, wandering through the sands of time in San Francisco. Ain't got no money to spend, ain't hustling nothing, surrounded by friends and good vibrations. There comes a knocking on the door, an unexpected force sweeps you up, that sweet pain you forgot existed. Love is one hell of a drug. Gotta be careful with that little devil, you'll be cuckoo for cocoa puffs even though you prefer fruity pebbles, and it doesn't matter anyway, the milk has gone sour. It's all cool. Don't even trip dawg. Come out to the beach and smoke a joint with the white garbage.​

If anybody wants to take a stab at a better summary, by all means...​

~~~

Music playlist on Youtube, click Here.

Track listing -​
1. San Francisco Days – Chris Isaak​
2. The Joker – Steve Miller Band​
3. Ain't Gonna Rain Anymore – Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds​
4. Good Vibrations – The Beach Boys​
5. The Man Who Sold The World – David Bowie​
6. Remember The Time – Michael Jackson​
7. Everything In Its Right Place – Radiohead​
8. Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen​
9. What I Got – Sublime​
10. 7 - Prince​
11. Bowl For Two – The Expendables​
12. Evil Morty's Theme (Trap Mix) – Rick & Morty Soundtrack​
13. Good Friends And A Bottle Of Pills – Pantera​
14. Swimming Pools (Drank) – Kendrick Lamar​
15. All-Star – Smash Mouth​
16. Billy Jean – Michael Jackson​
17. True Love Waits (Live) - Radiohead​
18. Paint It Black – The Rolling Stones​
19. i wrote this song 4 u – LiL BO WEEP​
20. Blood On The Dancefloor – Michael Jackson​
21. HUMBLE. – Kendrick Lamar​
22. Where Did You Sleep Last Night – Nirvana​
23. The Package – A Perfect Circle​
24. Saw Red (Acoustic) – Sublime​
25. I Let Love In – Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds​
26. Heartless – Kanye West​
27. Lonely Day – System Of A Down​
28. Nasty Girl – Vanity 6​
29. New Song – Sublime​
30. Flyentology – El-P​
31. Aenema – Tool​
32. Across The Universe – Fiona Apple​

~~~

Thank You to:

1. Myself​
2. Everyone Else

~~~
 

Neglify

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Here's a quick preview, the first 5 pages.

NOT SAFE FOR WORK.

ZERO. NEW YEAR’S EVE

The acid was paper blotter, with each tab designed to look like a vintage postage stamp. It’s almost always a good sign when the artwork is detailed. Someone who cuts chemistry corners and produces bunk acid isn’t going through the trouble of painting micro Mona Lisas on their pieces of shit.

It was my first acid trip. When my buddy Tom learned that I had never done psychedelic drugs, despite the fact that I was born in San Francisco, he insisted on dosing me. I loved smoking pot and drinking booze, but I hadn’t come across many hard substances in my time. I won’t bore you with my life history, so I’ll just say I had an off-beat religious upbringing. I wasn’t necessarily sheltered, it was more like growing up in a large bubble. When I became free of my past life, I was definitely interested in exploring the world of drugs. I loved getting fucked up and I was ready to take things to a new level. 

Tom and I each took two tabs and proceeded to bomb around Haight street. Onward, drunken soldier, onward to lands unknown.

Earlier that night, I stole a bottle of vodka from the grocery store by the beach. I'm a dedicated drinker. I had to have at least one bottle of booze for New Year’s Eve. Tom warned me about mixing alcohol with acid, suggesting that I save that booze for tomorrow. I assured him of my skill levels as a drunk fucker; I’ve never met a blackout I didn’t like.

I didn’t really know what to expect of the high I would be going through. I had tried shrooms before and they had no effect on me. From what I had heard about LSD, I figured I'd be able to taste thoughts, or step outside the boundaries of the universe, or something stupid like that. 

It's hard to accurately describe the sensations I went through. I didn't wake up in Wonderland. I didn't see E-motherfuckin'-T. The world around me was the world I was used to, but I could feel the vibrations of life pulsating through the atmosphere. I was tuned in and turned on to the Allness of Everything. Like I had finally understood what “is” means. I don't know man, I was tripping.

We stopped and chatted with local residents throughout the night's journey. These stoners and trippers didn't refer to themselves as “hippies.” They were known as “Dirty Kids.” I was not a fan of that term. It's unnecessarily self-degrading. Whatever, it's better than calling yourself a “Scumfuck.”

Tom and I finished the bottle of vodka outside the late, great Red Vic Theater. What we didn’t drink got poured on the curb outside the ghost of cinema past.

I have no clue how many different human beings I came into contact with that night. Every single Dirty Kid looked the same to me. Call me a racist if you want, but I'm telling you, all those white folk were cousins or some shit.

We had dosed at eight o'clock. At approximately 11:12 PM, I started to get high-strung. A wave of emotions were hitting me. I needed to escape the loop that I was in. I needed to get back to the beach, back to where I felt comfortable. Once I got to the ocean, I'd be cool. 

Tom suggested we walk the length of Golden Gate Park, which starts where Haight ends and ends where the beach begins. I told him that the trek would be far too arduous for me, especially considering that we just walked in a circle for three hours. Tom enjoyed walking long distances on hard drugs, so we went our separate routes. He walked the Park, I took the bus.

Walking up to Fulton, I sat down against a wall and let my tears flow freely. There wasn't any one specific thing that I was crying about. I was mourning everything and everyone I had lost. Friends that had forgotten me. Family that had abandoned me. Possessions that I no longer held onto. Opportunities that I never took advantage of. I grieved over the death of so many yesterdays. Then I got over it, and got on the next bus. I was still tripping, so I listened to “Echoes” by Pink Floyd. That song is phenomenal.

I returned to my beach. I wanted nothing more in the world than to be with my friend Coco, a woman who lived in her car with her veteran kitty kat. I met Coco a few months earlier, before I officially became homeless. She was easy to get along with, she was easy on the eyes and it was easy to see that I had developed a schoolboy's crush.

I called her up. She told me she was hanging out with her friend Wes, a speed dealer who lived in an RV in the neighborhood. I thought, There goes any possibility of a New Year's Kiss for me.

Dejected, I told Coco that I wouldn't interrupt their celebrations, and wished her a Happy New Year. She told me to stop being dumb. It was totally fine for me to come over to the RV and join their celebrations.

I had tweeked before, but I was still very much a kindergartner. The first time I did meth, I smoked a bubble with the homeboys, but I didn't get high. That shit can be hard to figure out for a newb. It's not as simple as smoking weed is, it's a whole procedure on how to hit that shit right. Later that same day, Coco showed me how easy it was to snort speed, and I got high as fuck, son. For a couple weeks after that first tweek, I only tweeked through the nose. The high would be fun at first, then it would always turn dreadful. I stopped doing speed in early December, because the anguish wasn't worth it.

But, I didn’t turn down Coco's offer to get high that night. I couldn't say No to this woman. She had a spell on me. So I went to smoke methamphetamine.

Wes and I blazed some weed to help break the ice. I laughed at his jokes, he laughed at how dazed and amused I was from the acid. He loaded a glass bubble with a shard of speed. He used a torch to melt the dope down. He blew out the first round of smoke to get rid of the nasty shit, then lit up the pipe again and took a hit. Wes passed the bubble to me. Smoke Up. 

I lit that shit like a pro. I had never been able to get a good hit before, but now that I’m high on acid and my mind has been permanently expanded, I knew exactly what the fuck to do.

That was the greatest hit of dope I've ever had. I was hooked on cloud one.



ONE. JANUARY

I didn’t stay long with Wes and Coco in his RV. Shortly after midnight, he wanted to take her on a walk in the Park. I understood the bro code, he was looking to create some romance tonight. I thanked him for getting me high and told them to enjoy this beautiful night together. Then I took a walkabout.

My mind is constantly active. Over analyzing the minutiae of life is one of my strongest natural talents. My acid trip that night had opened many mental windows, allowing me to really turn myself on. The three hits of speed that night was a boost of rocket fuel that I wasn't quite prepared for.


There are many different ways to say that you're high on speed. I am quite fond of using the term “lit” to describe my tweeks. Because that shit sets my mind on fire. Even before I could fully finish thinking a thought, I was able to comprehend every facet of that particular concept with clarity. I didn't think using words, because that would have been too slow and inefficient.

I wanted to smoke more speed as soon as possible. The fact that I had no more dope to smoke that night pissed me off. That thought caused me to slam on the brakes and examine myself. That reactive anger was not I speaking. It's true that I was a drug addict, but I was never an angry fiend. I was eternal cool. 

I knew this was a dangerous drug, this dope, this shit, these shards, this fucking white beast. The drug needed me to need it, forever and always. That ain't cool with me, that's some slave shit.

There are two colors in my head. I felt the control struggle within. It was Blissful Blue versus El Diablo's Red Right Hand. Red was turning Blue purple.

Tom returned to the beach sooner than I expected. He definitely knew how to stay focused on a hike. He was not a wandering dawdler. He asked me what I had been up to after we parted ways last year.

“I smoked meth.”

He said, “Oh shit, you were dumb. Acid and speed do not go well together.”

“Yep, there's no argument from me on that one. Good lesson to learn.”

We hung out and smoked weed. Tom wanted to sleep, because he had walked for miles, and he hadn’t done the uppers that I just did. I knew that sleep wasn't in the cards for me tonight. I let him have his peace.

I walked on the boardwalk. I took a stroll on the beach. I traipsed through Golden Gate Park. I sat down at the soccer field bleachers at four in the morning. I blazed bowls of weed as I held a long conversation with myselves. Blue and Red were done battling. They were able to sit down with each other, share a peace pipe and work their shit out. 

The night's struggle was over.

~~~​

I guess I’ve gone long enough without introducing myself. 

Call me Irish John. It’s a self-given nickname, which is usually frowned upon, but nobody else had ever come up with a good alternative for me. Everybody just always thought of me as me.

I adopted the title of Irish John because of this one random bearded bastard. At some point during my previous existence, I was chilling somewhere smoking some pot and some guy walked by carrying a 12-pack of PBR. He saw me and felt an instant kinship, calling me his Norse brother. He offered to share his beer with me if I shared my ganja. I took my Norse brother up on his kind offer.

He called himself the Beer Baron and I told him my name, my actual name. He shook his head, “You’ve got to change that name. That’s not who you are. Come up with a new identity, something unique to you.” 

“Oh. Well... How about Irish John? Is that satisfactory?”

“Yeah, that's better. You're not Sean, you're Irish John.”

Then we got drunk and I don’t remember what happened after that shit. Never saw that dude again.

~~~​
 

Duragizer

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I promise to read it, but I'm a slow reader these days, so I can't say when I'll get back to you on it.
 

Handman

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I really want to read this!  I'll have time to next week, I promise.
 

Rogue-theX

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Neglify said:
It was my aunt's desire that I pursue my goal of becoming a writer. So that's what I did.​

:cool: !!!

When its finished will there be physical copies available?
 

Jrzag42

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I just finished reading the preview. It was very interesting, and I would love to read the rest.
I have this internal conflict. My father recently wrote his first book, and went to me to read the early drafts, but I never got around to reading it, even after it was published, and I feel like I'd be doing a disservice to him by agreeing to read someone else's book. 
But eh. 
I'll probably still read this sooner or later. I'm not sure if I will necessarily have the time to read it before it others do or before it gets published, and I'm not the best at feedback, but I will try to read through it sometime.
 

Neglify

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Duragizer said:
I promise to read it, but I'm a slow reader these days, so I can't say when I'll get back to you on it.

Handman said:
I really want to read this!  I'll have time to next week, I promise.

Thanks guys, no rush, looking forward to your viewpoints. 

Rogue-theX said:
When its finished will there be physical copies available?

I certainly hope so. 


jrWHAG42 said:
I just finished reading the preview. It was very interesting, and I would love to read the rest.
I have this internal conflict. <snip>

Thanks for reading the preview, don't worry about betraying your father, I'd rather you read his book first.
 

ssj

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I had tried shrooms before and they had no effect on me.

you are made of steel, mi amigo. :D
 

ssj

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i'm enjoying the prose and the journey, brother.
 

Neglify

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5ofc7szywpi21.jpg
 

Handman

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Handman said:
I really want to read this!  I'll have time to next week, I promise.

I broke my promise, and I feel a bit bad about that, but I still want to read this soon!
 

wilhelm scream

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I'm currently reading it (I'm a slow reader), but I'm rather enjoying this.
 

suspiciouscoffee

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Somehow I’ve overlooked this thread and the contents therein until now.  Needless to say I started reading it, and have just hit April, but I need to sleep, so I’ll have to pick it up again tomorrow.
 

Collipso

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yes i overlooked as well. coffee brought it to my attention and now sir you have my interest (or was it the other way around? goddamn). i'll try to read it until the end of the week.
 

Neglify

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Cool, hell yeah, good to know that people are reading it. Soon enough I'll update this thread with excerpts from each chapter. Until then, stay stoned.
 

Neglify

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[Thread Bump Gif]

Hello all. I'm here to give you some more excerpts from my book, "San Francisco Daze". Here's the first 5 pages I posted a few months ago, in case you missed it. I'm going to share excerpts from each chapter, today I'll focus on Chapters 1 through 4.


NOT SAFE FOR WORK. Foul language, adult situations, rampant drug abuse.

-------------------

Chapter 1, pg 12

In the last week of January I made a new friend. I was walking through the Park near the outdoor restaurant. I saw Coco hanging out with a young guy. She introduced us. He called himself Schwifty and he was 19. He had been around the area about a year ago, when I was still an inside cat. He knew all the regulars and had plenty of stories to tell.

He offered me his liquor. “It's time to get Schwifty.”

I said, “Fuck yeah, let’s get riggety-riggety-wrecked, son!”

We slammed the hell out of that bottle of white rum. I made a run to the store to rack a bottle of raspberry vodka and we slammed that shit down as well.

Drunk as fuck, walking through the Park at night, Schwifty said, “I got a feeling you’re going to be my best friend.”

I didn’t quite know what to say. My natural thought was, “Shit dude, you must have shitty friends. What kind of loser are you to think of me as your best friend after hanging out for only a couple hours? Are you gay or something?” 

Of course I ain’t gonna say that. I drunk-mumbled some bullshit and walked him to where he was staying. He wanted to kick it again the next day so we made plans to meet up and get drunk all over again.

The next day Schwifty took me to a mid-town grocery store I had passed by plenty of times but never ventured into. He said he’d been racking liquor from this place for years. He told me to go in first and browse around. Hopefully I’d draw attention away from him when he went in.

I walked into the store and grabbed a hand basket. I did a simple walk-through of the aisles, checking out what they had and where they had whatnot and who was doing what where and all that. I grabbed a cold beverage, paid for it with my food stamps card and went back outside.

Schwifty was at the bus stop and told me to follow him. We walked a block, then he took out two bottles of liquor from under his hoodie. We sat on a bench in the Panhandle and got royally pissed.

When the second bottle was done I figured we were done, too. I thought we'd take the bus back to the beach and either sober up or pass out. Schwifty however, he insisted on going back to the store and robbing it again. I kind of tried to talk him out of it, but I was also drunk and I wanted to get drunker. So I hung out at the bus stop while he went in. He came out a cool minute later and once again told me to follow. Like a magician he produced a new set of bottles from under his hoodie. This time we got on the bus and drank by the beach.

That was far from the last time the two of us would get completely FUBBY. Fucked Up Beyond Belief Yo.

~~~​

Chapter 2, page 13

There I was on Haight street with Tom again. It's day-time, it's raining a little bit, we're sitting under an awning of a closed down shop, sitting on the sidewalk doing drugs. A girl approaches, asking if she can smoke weed with us.

I looked at her and knew she was trouble. Tom loved trouble. He told her to have a seat and come get high. She giggled and plopped herself down on the sidewalk, right between the two of us. I don't remember what she introduced herself as, because I already knew her true identity: Slut Whore Bitch.

Slut Whore Bitch was a shining example of California trash. To say she was overly flirtatious is a poor use of the English language. She wore short shorts with no underwear and a loose t-shirt that showed off her bountiful bosom. Within thirty seconds of joining us she suggested that we all have sex together, spreading her legs and resting a foot on each of our laps. I wanted nothing to do with her and kindly pushed her leg off me.

Tom was DTF as fuck. He gave her one hit of acid because he wanted her to be on our level. That was the point the day officially went off the rails.

We sat there smoking weed and drinking. She had to pee. We told her we'd walk her to the Panhandle bathroom. Instead she walked to the curb five feet in front of us, dropped trou, squatted down and pissed in the gutter, looking at us and laughing as she did it. What a glorious specimen of white garbage.

The rain was coming down harder so we decided to go under a bigger awning. We saw some dude standing in somebody's driveway, protected from the rain. He was smoking something from a piece of aluminum foil. Slut Whore Bitch led us to his position and asked if she could smoke with him. He was very open. Of course you can smoke some of this with me. Oh what it is? It's shards. 

That's when I said fuck this noise I don't give a shit about the rain I'm walking away from these lunatic sonsabitches right now. I didn't even say goodbye to them, I just turned left and jammed. I got to the Page street library and went inside, figuring it'd be relaxing to be out of the rain.

The acid was hitting me hard. I sat at a table and took off my jacket. I did my best to not make much noise, because I could hear everything in that room. Every minor sound. Chairs screeching across the floor, fingers hitting computer keyboards, coughs groans sneezes sighs. I could only take nineteen seconds of it before I put my jacket back on and walked out.

I found myself in the Panhandle, pacing underneath a small group of trees, sheltered more or less from the pouring rain, which had reached its pinnacle. I circled round and round, my mind racing, synapses firing fast. I had one profound cognition after another, each profundity connected in a maze of realization. I promptly forgot everything when my phone rang. 

Tom had gotten away from Slut Whore Bitch and he was downtown, not sure how to get back to the Haight. “What street are you on?” I asked.

“I don't know.”

“Walk to the nearest corner, look at the street signs.”

“Uhhhh... Van Ness and Eddy.”

“Ok, walk south to McAllister street, get on the 5 Fulton outbound.”

“Which way is south?”

“Holy shit seriously? Walk down. Ask somebody to point you in the direction of the 5 Fulton. I'm in the Panhandle, I'll be at the bathrooms.”

“All right I'll figure it out.”

Approximately twenty-two minutes later he showed up. He asked what I did. “I walked in the rain and went insane. Now you tell me your story.”

He regaled to me his tale. He picked up where I left off, when I walked away from methman on the streets. Slut Whore Bitch smoked dope with the guy but Tom declined. The rain was really coming down, so she suggested they take a bus downtown to her SRO (Single Room Occupancy).

They took the 7 Haight/Noriega inbound and sat in the back. They fooled around a bit, nothing too major, heavy petting. They transferred to another bus. Tom had no idea which bus line, or what direction he was heading. This time they were practically dry-humping each other in front of everybody. Slut Whore Bitch wanted him to fuck her right then and there but Tom couldn't take it that far. He overheard a passenger mutter something about “these disgusting heroin addicts” and that sobered him up. 

They got off the bus and walked two blocks to her shitty hotel. She told him to wait outside while she checked in. She went inside, closed the door and Tom immediately walked the opposite direction. He was free from Slut Whore Bitch.

I told him, “A lesson I want to impart on you. Never stick your dick in crazy.”

~~~​

Chapter 3, page 27

Our gang of misfits would usually converge at this one spot across from the grocery store. The bus stop where the 5 Fulton starts has a cool little park area in between a couple apartment complexes. Everybody had different names for the spot but I liked to call it The Bus Stop. If I told you to meet me at The Bus Stop and you didn't know which bus stop, you didn't know me.

This one morning I was kicking it at The Bus Stop with Coco and a couple others. A mini-van pulls up and the driver waves Coco over to him. She goes to talk to him and he hands her a bucket. She gets excited and thanks him profusely. She waves me over and I see that the bucket is full of liquor bottles. I talk to the guy, he works at that restaurant in the Park and this was old stock they wanted to get rid of. He'd seen us around and knew we enjoyed the drink, so instead of throwing the bottles in the trash he gave them to us.

The bottles were foreign oddities I had never laid eyes on. I mean, it was regular liquor. A couple bottles of whiskey, some tequila, vodka, normal shit. But the brands were like legit foreign. The tequila was straight from Mexico and I took that bottle for myself before anybody else could see it. One of the whiskeys was from Germany and the vodka looked to be cheaper than Popov. I of course drank some of everything. I had already tasted all that's available at the grocery store and I saw this as a special gift, a new level of wasted.

That day was perhaps the drunkest I've ever been. By noon I had killed the tequila bottle, then I helped my fellow boozehounds with the rest. 

In the middle of the spot is a big triangle-shaped piece of concrete. You sit on the outer edge and there's a tree surrounded by red lava rocks in the middle. We were all sitting there, drunk as Irish fish on a Friday. I could no longer remain conscious. I leaned back and laid down on the rocks. I heard laughter as I drifted off to slumber land.

After an unknowable amount of time sleeping, I opened my eyes. It was a struggle to keep them open but what I saw made me want to wake up. 

I saw red. I saw her.

She was a flaming redhead, a few years my junior. She wore her hair in a tight ponytail and had nondescript black eyeglasses. She sat a few feet away from me, chatting with someone. She looked over and I saw her into her eyes, hypnotized. I wanted to know more about her. I wanted to know everything. I wanted to know her.

I popped up, some of the rocks falling to the ground, calling attention to me. I stood up deftly. You never would have believed that just nineteen seconds ago I was blacked out.

I stood before her, offering my hand. “I'm Sean.” I was so wasted I told her my actual name without realizing it until later.

She smiled as she shook my hand. “I'm Roseanna.”

“It's lovely to meet you. I'd like to get to know you more, but I'm very drunk right now and I have to pass out again. I'll see you around.”

I nodded goodbye, walked back to where I had been sitting, leaned back into the rocks again and closed my eyes. I was asleep instantly.

When I awoke she was gone.

~~~​

Chapter 4, page 48

April 22, a red-letter day.

In the morning I found Schwifty and Hippy Chick outside the grocery store, hustling for food and handouts. He had ditched his jeans and t-shirt look for a pair of brown overalls. She was turning him into a Dirty Kid. I talked to Schwifty alone about this situation. He wasn't planning on being with her for too long, but it was so much fun having non-stop sex. I asked him what was up with the overalls and he agreed it was very uncool for him to be wearing those, but he woke up like that and just went with it.

That afternoon a bunch of us were hanging out at The Bus Stop. Around three or four, Roseanna showed up. She looked distressed. She told us how she had gotten into a big fight with her Street Mama, Jennifer. She been living at Jennifer's place for a while but Jennifer had just kicked her out. Roseanna was homeless now. She was one of us.

We all comforted her, telling her we're her friends. We'll make sure she survives out here. Rob and Alabama gave her similar lines at different times; “You can come camp with me at my spot. I'll keep you safe.” She politely turned both of them down. 

I didn't bother try coming on to her, I just gave her my phone number and told her to contact me if there was anything I could do to help. She thanked me for being so sweet and gave me her number.

I went with Schwifty to buy some smokes with the money he raised with Hippy Chick. At some point along the way I got a text message from Roseanna. “Where do you camp? I want to stay with you tonight.”

I showed the message to Schwifty to ensure I wasn't hallucinating. He confirmed this was the real life, not fantasy. I responded, “I stay in the Park close to the beach. I'll be back around in 20 mins, see you soon.”

We got back to The Bus Stop and I sat next to Roseanna, giving her a cigarette. I talked with her, and she reiterated that she wanted to stay with me. She knew she could trust me and enjoyed my company so far.

I excused us from the group and took her to my spot in the Park. She held my hand as we walked. She arrived at my spot and said it was a cozy little place. She could see herself being comfortable there. 

I kissed her. She kissed me back. We kissed each other.

I told her to wait there while I went to my stash bush to grab my sleeping gear for us. She said she'd be there and we kissed again. I got my bags, my heart dancing inside my chest. This was surreal. I had been thinking about her constantly for weeks and then she shows up, telling me to take her to my bed.

I returned to my spot (soon to be our spot) and Roseanna was lounging back on a tree. I laid the blankets out for us and we sat down together. We both had stolen booze earlier in the day, so we had ourselves a few shots. She was a pothead like me, so we smoked a bowl for two.

I told her, “I need to tell you how much I like you. I know there's an unspoken rule to never let someone know how much you like them, but that's not how I am. Straight up, I have thought about you every day since I met you. Every day I hoped to see you. Sorry if that's creepy.”

She smiled and touched my cheek. “You don't know how happy I am to hear you say that. Look at this.”

She grabbed her purse and opened it up. She took out a folded piece of paper and showed me that she still had my drawing of her. “I've had this here by my side ever since you drew it. Literally every time I open my purse I think of you.”

We kissed more. We made out, but nothing too much. I was drunk and my mind didn't know how to operate in such foreign territory. 

We slept in each other's arms. And all we did was sleep. That's really what I wanted to do. If I can fall asleep easily next to someone, and they can fall asleep next to me, I know I've found something special.

~~~​

Before I continue on, I think it's important to tell you something I figured out a few months later.

She lied in every word.

Not literally of course. But she was such a deceptive, untruthful person that I don't think even she knew her true backstory. I know she gave me her real name because I've seen her ID and that was too good to be a forgery.

I kind of knew from the start that she was no good for me, but I just ignored all the red flags. I would pick up on things she said and briefly think “Alert! Alert! Alert!” Then I would just file that little memory into one of the storage lockers in my mind and keep things rolling.

Being with her made me feel alive again. She made me realize I had a life outside of myself. I didn't want to spoil the party before the show began.

~~~​

TO BE CONTINUED...
 

Jrzag42

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Okay, that's it. I downloaded the book. I will start officially reading it tonight.
 

Neglify

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Moar excerpts! Shit's about to get real...


Chapter 5, page 61

At the end of the third week in May was San Francisco's Bay-To-Breakers race. It's possibly the biggest annual event in The City, maybe second to Pride Weekend. The concept is simple. You run from one end of the city to the other. For some it's a serious race, for the majority it's an excuse to dress in costume and party all day. I never participated in it because I'm a fat bastard and the idea of a race across the length of San Francisco never appealed to me.

I do like to get fucked up though, so the day was an excuse to get back in touch with Tom and do some psychedelics. Roseanna and I didn't want to hang out by the beach, since that's precisely where the race ends and it'd be a madhouse out there. She told me that she used to always hang out in the Panhandle on Bay-To-Breakers day. I told her that was perfect, since that's where Tom is parked and I wanted to hang out with him and do some acid.

Roseanna was not too keen on taking acid. Nor was she excited to hang out with [Girl To Be Named Later]. She said she'd had bad experiences on acid before. I told her I'd never had a bad trip with Tom, I'd be there with her the whole time to keep her spirits up. Roseanna agreed. Schwifty needed no convincing to go take acid with us.

We met up with Tom and [Girl] in the Panhandle, which was popping off more than usual. Bay-To-Breakers is an excuse for everybody in The City to go party somewhere and the Panhandle is a good place to do it.

[Girl] apologized to Roseanna for what had happened last time. Roseanna accepted her apology but told her she needs to learn how to handle her liquor. Then they were virtually best friends the rest of the day.

Tom gave everybody three tabs each, some paper blotter and some gelatin. Roseanna was still nervous about it but she did it. We hung out in the Panhandle for a bit, sipping drinks mildly. Roseanna insisted we play cards. Tom again let us know how stupid card games were.

Once we could no longer tell the difference between a diamond and a heart we put the games away and walked up to Buena Vista Park. 

At one point I was walking backwards, just being a goofball by walking the wrong way in the right direction. I said to Schwifty, “Sometimes it's fun to walk backwards. You should give it a try.”

Schwifty took the comment the wrong way and thought I was telling him to get lost. I didn't notice when he ditched us, I just realized that he was no longer there. I asked the others if they knew where he went, everybody shrugged.

I called Schwifty and he picked up. “Where'd you go?”

“You told me to leave.”

“No I didn't. What are you talking about?”

“You said something about walking backwards. I took that to mean I should walk away from you guys. I know I'm the fifth wheel here.”

“You're tripping Schwiffer. I was literally walking backwards and thought it was fun to do. That's all I was saying.”

“What?”

“Yeah dude. Whatever the fuck I said did not mean what you took it as. Come back. We all want to hang out with you. Here--” I held the phone out for the others. “--tell him we want him to be here.”

They all told him they wanted him there. He apologized for being dense and said he was headed back.

When he rejoined us I gave him a big hug. “I love you dude. Don't even trip, dawg.” Then we kept tripping together.

Tom and I wanted to walk all the way up Buena Vista, as we had done before. The other three were not digging that idea. Partway up, they all stopped and sat down on the steps, refusing to go higher. Tom and I had no problems going higher, so we said we'd be back soon.

We didn't go all the way to the top, mainly because we figured they would wig out too much on us leaving them. We just went to the next plateau. We could still see them and yell down to show them we're not far. Then we took two more hits each. Yeah, we had no issues going higher.

We all left Buena Vista. Roseanna wanted to go back to the beach with me. Schwifty wanted to stay and hang out more with Tom and [Girl]. Roseanna and I bid them adieu and we left. I took her a few blocks up to the mid-town grocery store Schwifty had introduced me to. “Let's go get lucky.”

She was familiar with the place but she said she was tripping too much to even think about stealing. I told her to stay at the bus stop and wait for me.

I went inside with my big bag and spent some time browsing the shelves. I took a bunch of stuff. Liquor and beer obviously, but also as many cute little things that caught my eye. I have no idea how long I was in there and I am still baffled that I was able to walk out of there that day.

When I got back to Roseanna at the bus stop, she was crying loudly. “You left me! You were gone so long. Why were you gone so long?” I apologized like a madman and we got on the next 5 Fulton.

On the bus I showed her the goods I had procured. I made it into a fun little thing. “Oh what's this I have in my bag?” Then I pulled out the fifth of rum and she laughed. “Wait, there's something else in here.” I pulled out a little stuffed animal and she squealed in delight. All throughout the ride I kept revealing the gifts I got for her.

“I love you.” Roseanna blushed beet red as she realized what she said.

I laughed. “Ha, I thought I'd be the one to say it first.”

She laughed as well. “I'm high on acid, I don't know what I'm saying.”

“Bullshit. You love me. Ha ha.” I kissed her. “And I love you.”

We got back to camp as it was getting dark. We did our usual thing of cards, alcohol and weed. Before going to sleep Roseanna absolutely had to take inventory of every item she had in every bag of hers. One by one she took each bag and emptied the contents onto the blanket. Us bush people liked to call this ritual a Yard Sale.

She said this was a necessary thing, a task that needed to be completed before sleep. “Everything in its right place.”

I replied, “Yesterday I woke up sucking a lemon.”

“What?”

“Never mind. Continue on with your Yard Sale.”

I must admit I have my own OCD tendencies. I couldn't fault her for this. I also couldn't help but make jokes the entire time.

She took out a little tin container which held loose tobacco. She held the container up to her ear and shook it. I teased, “What does it sound like? Does it sound like tobacco? Tobacco and weed sound very alike inside a little tin. It could be dirt, that would be undetectable by sound.”

She tapped on the tin. I kept teasing. “What are you tapping it for? Oh baby you're killing me. Just open the thing and look inside.”

She opened it and announced that tobacco was inside. I laughed. She laughed.

Finally she ensured all her shit was in all the proper shit-cases and was able to think about going to sleep. We needed to have one more bowl of weed and one more round of drinks while playing one more round of cards. So we did that. Then we laid down to sleep.

Almost as a cruel joke, a couple of raccoons decided to fight each other up in a tree nearby. Just as we were about to fall into slumber, we heard the vicious growls and snarls as those damn coons tore each other to pieces. Roseanna became frightened. I said let's get the fuck out of here and sleep somewhere else but she was frozen. I yelled and threw some rocks at the tree and the raccoons scattered.

“They're gone. Let's go to sleep now. I'm here with you.” But she was unable to sleep and there was nothing I could say to take the bad vibes away.

The rest of the night we just laid there together. She shivered, I held her warm. She would sometimes shake my arm off her, then she would freak out that she couldn't feel me next to her anymore, so I'd lay one hand on her shoulder to let her know I'm still there.

At one point I fell asleep and she became jealous. She shook me awake, telling me I wasn't allowed to sleep if she couldn't. Fine, whatever. We laid there until the sun came up. I said we might as well get up and start the new day.

That was Zombie Day for her. We just hung out at camp, listening to music and doing our normal shit. We went to the grocery store once for lunch and that was the only time we left camp that day. Schwifty came back around at some point and we exchanged our stories of nothing.

He told us that he did more acid with Tom and [Girl] and they got drunk and he passed out in the grass outside their car. We told him we never slept because some bitch ass raccoons decided to kill each other in our presence.

After our 4:20 PM smoke session Roseanna was finally able to fall asleep.

~~~​


Chapter 6, page 128

Our life together calmed down in the last days of June. We took some time away from speed, making us remember how wonderful weed is. Now we could go to sleep every night and feel refreshed in the morning. We didn't fight much about anything, which was wonderful. But I couldn't stop noticing all these little things that she did all the time. I felt the hostility inside her. That aggressiveness just under the surface.

I had wanted us to spend more time together, away from the others, so we could be closer as a couple. She went along with my idea, but she kept making it harder to be close to her.

One night we were hanging out in the car, just the two of us playing cards. Everything that came out of her mouth was a passive-aggressive remark. Her words were like tiny knives poking my heart.

She made it sound so playful when she would say things like, “You suck... I don't like you anymore... Get away from me... I'm gonna hurt you...”

My dam broke when she lovingly told me that she wished I was dead. Tears spilled from my eyes as I asked her, “Why are you doing this to me? You can't stop playing the I Hate You Game.”

She said, “I'm just joking.”

I looked at her. “No, you're not. I think you actually hate me.”

I didn't let her reply to that. I was out that door.

I sat on the boardwalk, trying to figure out what the fuck was going on in my life. The only thing I knew was true was that I didn't know shit about anything.

A voice spoke up. “Dude, why are you letting her do this to you?”

Me asked I what I meant.

I told me, “You're living a lie. You're doing the exact same shit that made you agree to be a slave for ten years. You see all these things that shouldn't be and you brush them aside.”

“What things?”

“Come on, motherfucker. If I can see these things, so can you. Stop living in your fantasy dream world. Wake the fuck up.”

“All right. Chill out, dawg. Let me take a look at all this shit here.”

“I'll start you off with a simple question. Do you love her?”

“Me thinks so.”

“Oh good, you didn't instantly say yes. We're getting somewhere now. Next question. Does she love you?”

“Me don't know.”

“Correct. Last question before you're on your own. Why do you not know if she loves you or not?”

“Because she's a liar and we can't trust her.”

“Booyah. I thought I'd lost you for a moment back there. We cool?”

“We're cool.”

I handed myself the key to unlock the “Don't Think About It” drawer in my memory. We took a look at all the red flags we stuffed in there.

The first thing I looked at was something big. Something that a bunch of people had pointed out to me, but I had always dismissed their questions.

She kept going out to spend the night at “a friend's house” and she kept coming back with “gifts” like a pack of cigarettes or some weed.

And sometimes she came back with money.

I remembered the one time that I told her this was an odd thing she was doing and I felt weird about it. She got mad at what I said, defending herself. Like I had accused her of doing something bad.

I knew that was a textbook example of how a person acts when they're hiding something and someone else gets close to finding out about it. And she did that shit all the time. Whenever I asked her a question that she didn't like, she went into attack-mode.

I re-asked my original question, “Why was I letting her do this to me?”

“Because I'm in love with her costume. That mask she wears is so pretty.”

I had another question for me.

“What are you going to do now?”

~~~​


Chapter 7, page 154

Around half-past midnight, two dudes walked into our camp. I heard them coming before they walked right through our non-existent front door, but that just meant that I was on my feet to greet the guests. 

They didn't even notice Bob sleeping there when they stepped on him and moved forward to us. Bob apparently didn't notice them either, because he only gave a single grunt when they stepped on him. If he was woken up by that, he wasn't showing it.

I don't remember feeling any fear at first. I didn't see any weapons in their hands. They didn't look happy, but I didn't see any viciousness in them, either. 

Schwifty also got to his feet, visibly shaking. Roseanna sat right where she was, sitting on top of that tarp we had. The tarp that we had found in Tom's trunk over a month ago. The tarp that we used at camp every single day since.

I asked these guys what was going on. The small guy did the talking and his bigger buddy backed him up. Guy #1 told us that they had just started camping in the Park, not very far from us. Guy #1 said that he left his bag in a bush nearby earlier today and now it had been stolen from him. I said, “Tell us what the bag looks like and we'll keep an eye out for it.”

I noticed that Guy #2 had moved behind Schwifty to get close to a pile of sticks. Schwifty yelled out for Bob to wake up right now. Without looking at Schwifty, I held my hand out to quiet him, and he shut up for the moment. I asked Guy #1 to please tell us what we could do to help him out. He said, “You could give me back the bag you stole from me.”

Roseanna barked at him right away. “Fuck you! We didn't steal your shit!”

I knew she wouldn't shut up with a wave of my hand, so I just kept talking to Guy #1 as calmly as I could. “Look man, we didn't take any bag out of any bush. You can see in my eyes that I'm not lying about this. Look around our place, do you see anything here that belongs to you?”

Guy #1 gave a little look around. He said, “I see that tarp you got there. I had a tarp just like that inside my bag that went missing. That's my fucking tarp.”

The three of us spoke at once. “You're mistaken this isn't your tarp.” “Fuck you we've never seen you assholes before get the fuck out of here!” “Bob wake the fuck up right now goddammit!”

Guy #2 yelled at us to shut up. He was swift when he moved over to face me. Even though I saw the big stick in his hand, I didn't flinch. I couldn't allow myself to feel fear. I instinctively followed the training I had received so long ago. I confronted these intruders without flinching or avoiding.

Guy #2 said, “We want to do things the nice way. We don't want to hurt any of you, unless we know that you're not playing nice with us. I don't know for sure if any of you took his bag, but he's saying that this is his tarp. Unless you can prove that this isn't his tarp, we're gonna have to take it. And I'll most likely be forced to hurt one of you in the process.”

He took a step back, indicating that he was done talking. I turned back to Guy #1 and said, “All right then. You have to agree with me that this is a plain brown tarp. There must be an infinite number of brown tarps that look exactly like this one. Now, if you look at this tarp closely, you will see a bunch of holes from all the cigarette burns we acci--”

Apparently I was taking too long, because Guy #1 yelled more, then he reached down and grabbed the tarp. Roseanna was still sitting on top of it. Guy #1 gave the tarp a yank and Roseanna tumbled backwards, hitting her head on the tree next to her.

That's when I moved my body over to Guy #1 and pulled him up to look at me. Guy #2 came at me with that stick raised above his head but I didn't falter. I let Guy #1 know that I was displeased with him. I was loud when I spoke, not angry. The best way I can describe what I did is that I impinged on him.

“I CAN'T LET YOU DO THAT TO A LADY. APOLOGIZE TO HER RIGHT NOW.”

I must have impinged on both of them. Guy #2 never attacked me. Guy #1 lowered his head and told Roseanna he was sorry. I glanced at her. Seeing the rage in her face gave me the only tiny bit of fear I would have that night.

I turned my attention back to Guy #1. I did my best to return to that calm state of beingness I had before. “You didn't let me finish. I want us to resolve this with no more mishaps. Is there anything significant about your tarp that will make you certain that you're looking at your tarp?”

Guy #1 said, “Yes, I put my initials on an inside corner. I used a regular pen to make an indentation in the fabric and then I traced over that with a Sharpie.”

“That is excellent to hear. Go ahead and look at every corner of this tarp.”

Guy #1 turned to the tarp. He saw that Roseanna was standing on top of it and he looked at me. “I don't want to do anything else to harm this lady here. But I can't look at the tarp if she's standing on it.”

I told him he should ask her nicely to move. He asked her if she could please move off the tarp. She cursed at him and he looked back at me for help. 

I asked her very nicely, “Can you please step off the tarp so he can take a look at it?” She growled and shuffled her feet a little, but she hadn't moved off it. “Baby, the faster you move off that tarp, the faster this is all over with.”

She stepped off the tarp and Guy #1 inspected it. I kept my eyes on Roseanna. I saw what she had in her hand, held close against her leg. She had a strong grip on that knife of hers. That monster knife that she rarely took off of her right hip. That knife that she would sometimes sleep with.

I told myself that if shit hits the fan and she decided to use that knife tonight I needed to stay out of her way. I instantly made my “what if” plan. I would drop to the ground and roll through a gap in the branches next to me. I'd let her attack Guy #1 while I found a rock or some blunt object I could use. There was no doubt that she could overpower Guy #1 easily, so I needed to focus my strength on Guy #2, who very likely would already have swung his stick at Schwifty. As long as I could overpower Guy #2 before he did any serious damage, we might just be able to live through this. It only took me a second to see this potential future with precision. 

It took Guy #1 the same second to see that this was not his tarp. He said, “Oh shit. My tarp is definitely bigger than this one.”

Guy #2 stepped next to Guy #1 and asked him, “Are you saying now that this isn't your tarp?”

Guy #1 said, “Yep. I was wrong.”

Guy #2 instantly dropped his stick and turned to me. He briefly said, “I'm sorry about this” and turned back to Guy #1 to tell him, “This was your fuck-up. You need to make this right. Goodbye.” Then Guy #2 was gone. 

Guy #1 was almost on knees as he kept saying how sorry he was for making this mistake and what could he do to make it up to us and oh man he was so sorry that all of this happened. Roseanna yelled and cussed at him. I said, “Ok fine, you're sorry, now get out of here.” Then Guy #1 was gone. 

It was over. We were safe.

Roseanna's rage hadn't lessened one iota. I tried to say something to calm her down but she screamed at me. “Fuck you! Don't tell me what to do!”

I turned to face Schwifty. He was crying and scared out of his wits. I put my arms around him and shushed his tears. I told him, “You're safe now. We're all safe. We're alive. Nothing terrible happened. Nobody got hurt.”

Roseanna yelled, “Fuck you! I hit my head against that tree! I got hurt!”

I said, “You're correct and I'm sorry that I forgot about that. How badly did you hit your head?”

“I don't fucking know how hard I hit my head! I just know that it hurts!”

I said, “I hear what you're saying. Will you let me look at the back of your head to see if you're bleeding?”

“Fuck you! I didn't crack my head open! I'm not bleeding! I hit my head and now my head hurts! Don't ask any more questions about my fucking head!”

I took a deep breath. “This whole thing could have gone so, so much worse. There's nothing I can say to take any pain away. I only ask that we all be thankful to be alive right now.”

Schwifty embraced me with a hug but Roseanna needed to yell “Fuck you!” again. Bob sat up in his bed. The first time he did or said anything since the intruders had stepped on him when they first arrived. I forgot about Bob. Holy motherfuck, how could he sleep through all of that and only wake up now?

Schwifty and Roseanna certainly never forgot about him over there. As soon as he sat up, they converged on him. They yelled over one another loudly, both essentially screaming the same things. “How the fuck could you sleep through all of that? We were attacked and you were asleep for it all! We could have died and you would have right slept right through it! All those times you talked about tough you are! You're a worthless old piece of shit!”

I yelled at the two of them to stop, which just added to the noise and confusion that Bob was finding himself in. Bob woke up enough to holler at them to stop. He flailed his arms to get them out of his face. There was quiet for a moment, so Bob asked what happened. Schwifty and Roseanna talked over each other and Bob flailed his arms more and told them to stop. Then he specifically asked Roseanna to tell him what happened.

Her brief summary of the events: “Two dudes came up here to camp accusing us of stealing their things. Then they tried to attack us and we fought back. Then they left. AND YOU SLEPT THROUGH IT ALL!”

I said, “Everybody, let's calm down here. The last thing we need to do right now is start attacking each other. We keep on calling each other family, for what reason? If we are a family, we need to stick together. We can't be at each other's throats like this.”

Schwifty said, “The three of us, we stuck together back there. Fucking Bob, he wasn't there with the rest of us.”

Bob said, “I'm still very confused about everything here.”

I told Bob I'd fill him in on the details in a little bit but I needed to make a point first. I made sure everybody was listening to me. “Yes, it is a fact that Bob was asleep during that entire incident. You know why he slept through it? He was up all last night tweeking with you guys, then up all day getting more fucked up on dope and booze. This is precisely what I've been talking about when I keep saying to everybody, hey you know what, maybe we do just a little bit too much speed and maybe it's making life harder on us.”

It came as no surprise that Roseanna would be the first to give a rebuttal on this. “Don't change the subject, don't start another bullshit speech about morality and honesty and all those other dumbass '-ology beliefs' you talk about. If you say one more smart word tonight, I won't be able to stop myself from hurting you.”

I took another deep breath. “Well, it's uh... obvious that continuing this conversation would be... harmful. So, I say we just the shut the fuck up for now. I won't tell anybody what to do ever, but I know that I'm... uh... I don't want to talk no more. I just want to pack up all our stuff and take it to the car. So that's what I'm gonna do now, and that's where I'll be the rest of the night. If y'all want to find me, I'll be in the car.”

I shut up and I packed up our shit. I asked for nobody's help but when Schwifty offered to carry a bag to the car I handed him the lightest bag of the bunch. I walked to the car and found it easy to not care if they were going to follow me or not. I held the keys to the car so that's where I was headed. If they wanted to come along that was fine and dandy to me. If they all wanted to stay back there and kill each other that was also fine and dandy to me.

When I arrived at the car I was fairly impressed that Schwifty stayed behind me the whole way. I didn't realize he was that close to me for that long. We easily completed our task of securing the bags in the trunk. I went to open the doors and let the cool night air blow through the Buick. 

Roseanna and Bob approached the car. I was happy that they were walking side-by-side. I told Roseanna she could have the first pick of what seat she wanted to sit in. She wanted to sit in the back, with me next to her. I nodded and saw that she got into the car. I told Schwifty that he should sit in the driver's seat and let Bob have the passenger seat. These seating arrangements were fine and dandy for everybody concerned.

We all got into the car and sat in silence. Don't know how long.

Uncle Bob broke the ice by apologizing to everybody. He said he was ashamed of himself over what happened. He wanted to take a few days to himself, away from us. He started crying when he said he wanted to get his head straight before he did something worse that might really hurt everybody. 

I told Bob that I didn't think it was a good move for him to leave us right now. Roseanna coldly said, “He obviously doesn't want to be with us, and I don't want him with us anymore either. We're better off with him leaving.” 

Schwifty agreed with her completely. I groaned. Bob got out of the car and went off to be by himself. Silence washed over us once more.

I realized that over the course of these last two weeks, all four of us had left the group for at least one night to get away from everybody else. I left them at the motel and spent the night here in the car. Schwifty left in anger for a few days. Now Bob bounced on us. Roseanna usually spent at least one night a week at a friend's house, but I only remembered one such sleepover night so far this month. Shit, she actually had the best track record for sticking with the fam, at least at that moment in time.

Kyle's car was parked right next to us, as was the usual, and we heard his door shut when he got up in the middle of the night to take a piss. I opened my door and waved to him before he got back into bed. He came over to see what was going on with us. He saw our faces and said, “Oh shit, something happened didn't it?”

They let me do the talking. “I can fill you in on more details tomorrow if you wish, but basically what happened is that two guys came to our camp and accused us of stealing their stuff. Roseanna was the only one that got hurt, thankfully it wasn't a life-threatening injury. We all stood up to them and they realized we hadn't stolen anything of theirs, so they ran away with their tails between their legs.”

Kyle didn't know how to react. He told Roseanna that he was so sorry that this happened to her at the end of her wonderful birthday celebration. He said that he was tremendously happy that all of us were alive, because things could have taken a real bad turn. He asked where Bob was. I waited a moment to see if Roseanna was going to answer this one, but nope it was still me.

I briefly explained that Bob had slept through the whole thing due to fatigue and that he went off to be on his own because he needed to find forgiveness for himself, or some shit.

Kyle reiterated that he was happy to hear that we all kept our cool and didn't make things worse. He said he was going back to bed and he'd see us when the sun came up, but if we needed anything from him don't be strangers. We all thanked him and let him go back to his world. 

The three of us felt easier now. I told Roseanna that she needed to lie down in the back seat by herself and rest her body. That was fine and dandy to her. I said that I wanted to go take a walk on the boardwalk, but if she needed me to stay in the front seat and not leave her alone, I'd stay however long she needed. She said she'd be all right by herself. If worse came to worse, Kyle was right there in the next car. I kissed the back of her hand and reminded her that I loved her.

I got out of the back seat so she could get comfortable. I was all prepared to tell Schwifty to come with me, but he didn't need me to say anything. He knew she said she would be fine by herself for the time being. And he wanted to take a walk with me anyway.

After a few minutes of walking, he nervously laughed and said how unusually quiet I was being. I shrugged and said I had voiced everything I had to say on the matter. Schwifty said that he needed to say something important. So I stopped walking and leaned against the boardwalk to listen to him.

“I can't believe how you stayed so in control the entire time. You were never scared of them. But not me. I was fucking paralyzed the entire time. If you hadn't been there tonight...” He couldn't hold back the tears. “...I don't even want to think about what might have happened had you not been there. I'm... I'm in awe of you. You really did save us back there. I was so scared. I just... I have so many violent memories from my past and they all came rushing forward the moment those guys came into our space. So... just... what I'm really trying to say to you is... Thank you for being there. Thank you for doing what I couldn't do. I love you.”

I gave him another long hug. I told him we'd talk more later. Right now we needed to enjoy the peace of the ocean. He agreed and wiped away his cries. We took a walk on the beach, not talking just drifting through the night.

Schwifty found half a pack of cigarettes in the sand, the highlight of the day.

~~~​


Chapter 8, page 176

I need to stop myself at this point for a breath of reflection. I knew before I met her that I would lose her. I should smell the roses one more time before I set them on fire. Here's what I loved about that woman...

I loved the way she robbed a store. I loved her fearless calculations.

I loved that she kept a full pantry for us. We always had excess food on hand. Even when we stopped eating much because of the dope she still restocked our shelves every few days.

I loved her Sunday Fundays. She had a tradition of listening to all her favorite Michael Jackson songs on Sunday. After my first Funday with her I happily downloaded The King of Pop's full discography onto my phone. So we could have more fulfilling Sunday Fundays together.

I loved her style. I loved her outfits.

I loved how she rocked that lighter leash on her belt. I loved the joy she got from hearing the pop sound when she had to take the Bic lighter out of its rubber cup-holder.

I loved how she called me handsome.

I loved how she let me sing to her.

I loved how much she loved being a weirdo with me.

I loved it every time she said “...back to the beach, boy!”

Oh baby, I loved how much you loved playing those card games.

And oh how I hate that I can't see all those other things I loved.

Because I still love the fact that no matter how many awful things I saw her do and heard her say, I always knew there was something else inside that woman that I'd never stop loving.

~~~​

Now that we're done with the flowery bullshit, let me tell you about the mental breakdown I had.

Two days after Kyle told Roseanna “Baby, you can't drive my car” the family took our monthly motel vacation. We went back to the place in the far-out Mission district, but Bob only booked one night this time. Because he wanted to buy double the usual amount of dope. Buy in bulk now, save later on the nickel-and-dime shit. For whatever reasons, he was in such a hurry to get into the motel room that he broke two of his Fundamental Rules Of The Dope Life.

Rule #xx. Don't Front The Dopeman.
Bob and his regular guy had a good rapport going by this time. Bob told Dopeman how much he wanted, Dopeman said when he'll be back with the stuff, Bob gave the money when the Dopeman had the dope. But now he was putting in a larger order than he had before. And the Dopeman needed at least half the money up front. Bob didn't like it. The Dopeman said he didn't like it either but that's how it was. Bob gave him half up front.

Bob grumbled about it the rest of the day.

Rule #zz. Secure The Package Before Checking In To The Room.
Bob and Roseanna booked the motel room before they contacted the Dopeman to get the eightball rolling. They didn't consider how long it might take the Dopeman to go there and back again. They told the Dopeman to come meet us at the motel that evening and we'll all party with him.

Bob kicked the shit out of a wall when the Dopeman didn't deliver.

Bob fucked up every turn in the road that day. Because he let Roseanna drive. I didn't say a damn thing about it. I gave no opinions as I sat back and watched it unfold. This was their train to wreck, not mine. Don't think that I enjoyed the ride. I saw the writing on the wall when the train pulled out of the station. My nerves were on the edge of their seat the whole day. Fingers crossed that I would survive the crash.

I added to my own misery, naturally. I let myself get too high with the family the night before. Then I let Roseanna convince me it was a good idea to rob the midtown grocery store. I knew we were hitting that store too much and I didn't want to go inside there, but I nodded along to her orders. The guard at that store stopped me for the first time. Nothing tragic happened. He grabbed my bag after the first step I took out the door. I let go of the bag. He took the merchandise out of my bag. He dumped my bag in the trashcan, spilling the rest of my things into the dirty garbage.

I didn't care about my bag of shit getting more shit on it. Nothing of value was in that bag. I cared that I was letting myself fuck up. I fooled myself into thinking I was fucking down this whole time.

Roseanna and I went in-and-out separately. She didn't see me get caught because she was still at work. Schwifty and Bob were alarmed by my sobbing cries when I walked back over to them. All I could say was that I got caught and I felt humiliated. I didn't know how to explain my misery.

Roseanna was successful in her mission. At least my sacrifice wasn't in vain. She calmed my tears with comfort. Then we left for the motel. We were out of there g, five thousand g, we're out, five thousand. Peace!

When we were in the motel Roseanna was the communication liaison between Bob and the Dopeman. Bob didn't have a phone, Roseanna's phone was always glued to her palm. He told her what to say, she texted his words. He asked her if the Dopeman said anything, she said nope. He got more frustrated, she got more frustrated. This pattern went on for hours.

With me in the middle of it. Roseanna and I sat on our bed, Bob sat in his bed. She was on my left, Bob was on my right. I did my best to pay attention to the television programs.

Roseanna and I took a walk to a liquor store. A block away from the motel, a car in the street slowed down next to us. It was a taxi. The back window rolled down and a man stuck out his head. He seemed to be talking to her.

He said, “Hey, don't I know you from before?”

She was ignoring him. I kept walking with her, silently watching life.

He kept talking to her. “Yeah, I remember you! Hey, look at me. Come on, you can't tell me you don't remember me!”

She kept ignoring him. We walked back to the motel room in silence. We didn't say a word about it to each other. Not then, not since.

Ten o'clock at night. Dopeman must have disappeared off the face of the Earth. Bob has his Hulk moment. He yells and cusses. He kicks his backpack leaning against the wall. Schwifty is sitting nearby, he gets startled. Bob kicks and punches the wall. Schwifty yells at him to stop. Bob cusses more. Bob stops.

I breathed relief. Roseanna stared at the ceiling. Bob watched TV. Looking over at Schwifty, I saw how shaken up he was by this. Poor Schwifty.

I was secretly happy that the deal fell through for tonight. I needed solid sleep. We all needed to get some sleep that night.

The next day we left the motel and went back to the beach, boy. The Dopeman wasn't dead, so I was happy about that. Bob and the Dopeman talked. Bob came back to us with some dope but he wasn't happy about it. Bob relayed to us the Dopeman's story. 

The Dopeman had the package in hand yesterday evening. The Dopeman had to ditch the dope when he ran into Johnny Law en route to deliver the goods. The Dopeman lost the dope. The Dopeman had to go there and back again, again. The Dopeman's Dopeman wasn't happy with the Dopeman's news. The Dopeman paid out of pocket for a new package. The Dopeman had to go back to home base before attempting a second delivery all the way on the other side of town. The Dopeman had to rest his bones. The Dopeman fell asleep. That's why the Dopeman delivered the dope a day late.

Why wasn't Bob happy now? He got the delivery, didn't he? The deal is done?

Nope. The second package that the Dopeman got last night was nickel-and-dime shit. The Dopeman delivered only a fraction of the dope that Bob had already put a down payment on. If Bob still wanted to play a game of eightball Bob had to front the Dopeman more cash dollar bills y'all. The dope deal had been reset back to 000. The money Bob gave the Dopeman yesterday paid for the dope that the Dopeman ditched. The Dopeman's Dopeman needed a new payment-in-full before giving another big package to the Dopeman.

Bob lost his game of eight. Bob still wanted to play the dope game so Bob handed over a couple more greenbacks to the Dopeman. The Dopeman would be back with a decent enough package for Bob. We had a dime of dope for the day. Might as well smoke that shit, bitch.

We tweeked. The Dopeman delivered more dope before the day was done. We tweeked with the Dopeman until dawn. We tweeked more the next day. We tweeked all night again. We tweeked more the next day.

That third all-nighter was my breaking point. I wanted sleep. My name was Skip for many rotations. But I still smoked dope that night, yes I did. 

The party finally stopped around 02:22 and I was able to relax in a horizontal position. I couldn't sleep because I was high. Roseanna sat up all night playing games on her phone and she had the overhead lights on. I needed her to lie down with me. For hours she kept saying she would lie down. For hours I laid there, watching her play games.

I slept a teensy, tiny amount of sleep. Roseanna woke me at dawn. She said she was going with Schwifty to get breakfast at Burger King. Did I want her to bring me anything?

She never laid down with me once that night and now it's daytime and she's leaving me to go off with Schwifty. Nah fuck that shit bitch this ain't cool.

I was a human landmine. I exploded to my feet, screaming my rage.

Footage Missing. I'm on the bus with Roseanna and Schwifty, headed to Burger King. We didn't talk. I sat in the front of the bus, they sat in the back. I had told them not to talk to me today because I wasn't in my right mind.

We got some food and got on the bus to take us back to the beach, boy. We didn't want to start eating the food until we were back at camp. We had to switch buses along the route. We waited at a bus stop. My rage-charge was triggered again by something she did or said. I yelled and cussed. I left them at the bus stop and walked back to camp on foot. I got back to camp and gave Bob the food he ordered. I sat down and finally ate my shitty food.

Roseanna and Schwifty got back. Conflicted emotions in her face. She was angry at me. She was concerned for me. She wanted to talk to me. I told her again that talking with me today was suicidal.

Roseanna and Schwifty played cards together and smoked more dope. I sat nearby with my back turned to them, listening to angry music. I kept telling them to stop smoking dope. I smoked no dope with them that day.

The motorcycle cops drove up. I didn't see them approach, I was fixated on the bush three feet in front of my face. Roseanna and Schwifty didn't see them approach because they were fixated on the dope pipe.

She says the cops are here and I shut off the music. I turn around, seeing Schwifty nervously trying to hide the pipe as the policemen dismount their bikes. I laugh, telling her that this is their sign to stop smoking dope today. Roseanna gives me her Evil Face. That shuts me up.

I talk to the cops like I always do. What's with the noise and commotion here? Chuckling, I tell them that me and the Old Lady have been having a bit of a spat, arguing about the bills, sorry about that. Roseanna got everything packed away while I was apologizing. We're going to take a walk on the boardwalk to calm down for the afternoon. The cops are friendly, move along, have a good day. Thank you sir, be safe.

Roseanna and Schwifty are nervous wrecks. A minute after the cops are gone she needs to take another hit of dope to calm down. I rage-splode again.

Footage Missing. The four of us are in the car. Roseanna says something to blow my last charge. I was out that door, raving and drooling. I go to the boardwalk. I speak words to myself that I don't understand. I sit on the seawall, spewing a psycho soliloquy. 

My insane words stop. I want a friend to be there next to me, but I don't want someone to talk to. I need a friend to witness the pain that I am in. I need a friend to understand me. I send a message to Schwifty. I tell him I need a friend by my side. Schwifty sends me a message. He is condemning me for everything I'm doing to hurt Roseanna. I am horrible.

I look at the ocean. Where are all my friends? My friends are gone.

I start speaking a new string of sentences. I tell myself:

“I did this. I did this to me. I did this. Nobody else did anything to me. I hurt myself. I decided to hurt myself and I did it.”

I continue varying the words of this concept. I stand on the seawall. I jump down to the boardwalk. I walk back to my family of dope-fiends. I continue speaking the same message to myself.

I'm at the car. Roseanna opens the door and yells at me. I'm still muttering my “I caused this” speech. Roseanna closes the door on me. I lay down on the pavement next to the car, babbling my blubbering mantra. They get out of the vehicle. She yells at me to go to sleep. I crawl into the back seat. She pats my leg. I scream and squirm at her touch. She slams the door. I am alone now.

I lay down. I want to sleep. I can't stop saying, “I did this to me. I did this. I did this. I. Did. This.”

I bolt upright. I yell at myself. “I DID THIS! I-- I-- I-- I-- I-- I-- I--”

I'm a broken record, unable to get past the word I.

“I-- I-- I-- I-- I-- I-- I-- STOP.”

I stop talking. I sleep.


~~~​


TO BE CONCLUDED...
 
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