I need a good woman... I know that she exists
but where is she upon this earth
as the whores keep finding me?
Very Strange Night Indeed
I had to get up at 4:30 am to make it to my job at 5:30. I was never
a morning person, plus I worked all day over vats of hot acid, so
I needed my sleep. I used to have problems sleeping when my wife was
out, but I got over that quickly after a few days of sleep-deprived
The phone rang at 3:25. It was my wife's friend Charlie. "Come
get your wife," he says "she's drunk, and acting crazy!"
I throw my clothes on, and jump in my old Trans-am. It wasn't far
to Charlie's apartment yet I still had time to wonder what she was
up to this time. I pull into the parking lot, and mount the stairs
to his apartment. I can hear her loud garbled voice through the cheap
plywood door. I knock.
Charlie lets me in, and the first thing I notice is all the crack
pipes on his kitchen table. My wife (Natalie) is stalking around the
room, angry about something. I grab her by the arm, and try to pull
her out, but she bites me on the hand, breaking the skin. She doesn't
want to leave it seems. Charlie looks on. I get her by the back of
the neck, grab her purse, and struggle her out the door and down the
stairs. I'm opening the car door when she turns around, looks up the
stairs and screams out, "That's right! Just fuck me and
I wasn't thinking about her statement so much, as I was thinking about
what to do with her. I try to get her into the car, but she's struggling,
and cursing me. She rambles off a string of drunken obscenities, as
she staggers down the street. I'm following her, feeling like a detective
finding clues. Her purse, on the ground, then a shoe, her jacket,
then the other shoe. I go back, and get in my car, waking up the whole
complex with the sound of the 400 big block through Thrush glasspacks.
I find her at the end of the block, by the Pakistani store. "Get
your drunk ass in the goddamn car!" I yell at her. Surprisingly,
Back at our apartment, I'm asking questions. She's rolling around
on the bed, alternately crying and evilly mocking me. I'm only getting
bits and pieces of information. I go to the kitchen for a glass of
water, and I hear her on the phone, "I love you Charlie! Don't
I go back into the bedroom, and wrestle the phone from her. I speak
into the receiver, "Next time you talk to her, I'm comin'
over there to put a foot in your ass!" then I hang it up, rip
it out of the wall, and throw it across the room.
"That's right," she says "I love him! You never loved
me! You never cared!" I argued with her for a half hour, before
I realized that it was futile, and I had to get to work. Man... how
was I supposed to work all day in that hot assed factory, with this
on my head.
I only worked for about half an hour, when I turned to my supervisor,
and told him that I had to go have a talk with the guy that was fucking
my wife. He seemed very understanding.
I banged on Charlie's door. He didn't answer. "Open up Charlie,"
I said, "You know who this is!" The door creaks open. I
come in, Charlie's holding a baseball bat. I sit on the couch, and
stare a him. He offers me he bat saying, "Go ahead, get it over
I tell him to sit his ass down, all I wanted was information. He was
reluctant. He didn't understand why I wanted to torture myself.
Here's he story: For the last nine months of my marriage, Natalie
had been buying cocaine from Charlie. This explains why she was so
crazy, and why I was so broke. When she ran low on money, she'd give
blowjobs for coke. Somewhere along the line, she fell in love with
Charlie, and was planning on moving in with him. When she told him
so, he said it wasn't going to happen. She freaks out, and he calls
"We wanted to respect the sanctity of your marriage," he
said, "so I only fucked her in the ass."
I knew it wasn't his fault. I really didn't want to bother with it,
but I had to end the visit somehow. So I said, "Charlie, from
this point on you're not going to have any contact with Natalie. If
she calls, hang up. If you talk to her again, I'm not going to kill
you, but I'm going to hurt you so bad with my bare hands that you'll
want to die. You know I'll do it too, don't you?"
He nods his head. I walk out.
As I drove back to work, the sun was coming up. It was the ugliest,
brightest sun that I had ever seen... like a searchlight. I got on
I-35, and tried to figure out what to do next.
The Year I Lost My Mind
People cling to their rotten memories, to all their misfortunes,
and you can't pry them loose. These things keep them busy. They avenge
themselves for the injustice of the present by smearing the future
inside them with shit. They're cowards deep down, and just. That's
1992, and we moved into that house. It was 500.00 a month, with a
500.00 deposit. The rental agent ran away with the deposit, I never
saw it again. It was me and her, and 3 dogs. Two of the dogs would
fight each other, ripping and tearing, trying to kill each other.
We moved them around the house like chess pieces, so they never came
in contact. That was a constant job.
Frat boy Sr. was still in the White House, so I was having a hard
time landing a job. I did a few temp gigs, a little commercial acting,
and a few bucks came in from the comic book I was drawing, but basically
I was being supported by a woman that was making six dollars an hour.
How we managed to survive, I do not remember.
It got hot that summer. Every day was 100 degrees. There was no air
conditioner, so I sat in my underwear and sweated. There was no furniture,
so I sat on a cinderblock in front of the television and waited to
die. Every cartoonist in town came by one night, and asked me to party,
there were about 20 of them. I was known as the guy who could draw
faster than anyone else. I just sat on that brick and stared at the
television until they left. They never came around after that.
I would scrape together loose change and buy unfiltered Pyramid cigarettes
from the dollar store. Those things were horrible, like smoking rolled
sheets of plastic, but it was all I could get.
Emo's had just opened up, and I would see all these beautiful women
there, all dressed up in fishnet and leather, Mohawks and black lipstick,
and I cursed myself for being in a loveless common-law marriage. I
would take my pit bull (Melvin) with me. I rescued him from the gas
chamber when I worked as a dog-catcher the year before. He only growled
at skinheads. He was a good dog.
The woman always accused me of things that never happened. She would
tell me that I was going to leave her, that I was going to cheat on
her. Every time she cut into me, I'd drink another cheap Malt-liquor,
to replace the soul she was sucking out of me. In the end, she left
me, but by that time I didn't care.
We were too poor to rent a lawn mower, so the grass was about three
feet high by October. When we opened the back door, a cloud of mosquitoes
rose into the air, and attacked like a single living thing.
Vermin, vermin everywhere. I bombed the house weekly, bought glue
traps and pyrethrin spray, but the vermin were everywhere. You could
see the fleas leaping along the hardwood floor, smell the rancid mouse
urine in the air, but the cockroaches were the worst. Giant Texas
palmettos like miniature tanks, indestructable, innumerable. I'd stopped
sleeping in the same room as the woman, and the roaches would crawl
across my face at night, and I'd jump up, yell, feel the adrenaline
pumping through me. I'd check the room before I went to sleep, then
put duct tape around the door seals, but they still got in, how, I
cannot say. And at 3 am I would laugh to myself, as I wondered what
could possibly happen next.
When brother Bill got into the White House, I managed to find a job.
I carried boxes of magazines in a warehouse, huge packages that weighed
more than I did, yet I never got any bigger, just smaller and harder.
I'd work there all day, and come home to the roaches, and the dogs,
and the woman.
When the woman decided to date other people, I was happy. It took
about two months to get up to speed, but when I did, I had some beauties.
There was Kristen, and Koshka, and Maria... and Eve. Eve was the craziest
of them all, an atomic bomb of a woman. A stripper with a skin-bird
haircut and the lack of caution and discretion only found in serious
alcoholics with mental problems. I fell in love with her, just like
I fell in love with the rest, but in the end I wound up alone, we
I suppose I should have been satisfied. I was dating whoever I wanted,
drawing my comic books, had a job, was popular at Emo's, yeah, I should
have been happy, but for some reason I was sad, and disgusted. I'd
wasted 5 years in College. I was poor. There's no dignity in being
poor, just anger. You're always lashing out at whatever is closest
to you. I was full of love that I could not properly express. I had
brilliant ideas that would never do the world any good. I had no way
to let it out, I'd forgotten how to cry. I was imploding... entropy...
This depression coated me like a filthy oil, as summer turned into
the chill of autumn that year. Skeletons, pumpkins, frost-breath,
cockroaches, and this thing screaming inside me. There was nothing
for me to do but wait for it to be over, and I've been doing that
This memory is dedicated to the beautiful yet deadly women who
refer to themselves as "Exotic Dancers".
I came up with the name NORTH LOOP POSSE. We all lived on North Loop
Blvd. in Austin. I was in the apartments that were set behind the
Japanese grocery store and Rich's house. Rich was the only other black
punk rocker in town. People use to confuse us with each other for
some reason. Other than the long hair, we looked nothing alike. It
was the difference between Wesley Snipes and Lenny Kravitz. Next door
to Rich was a house with two cute girls, and next to them another
two cute girls, and finally the weirdo house. I shouldn't call them
weird... we were all the same, I just keep remembering the clutter
of bicycle parts and junk glued to the white frame house. Sometimes
we'd all go to the State hospital cemetery across the street, and
drink and run the dogs.
There were a lot of parties at Rich's house, seemed like every weekend
was a drunken mess. One night I showed up after working a second shift
job, and went on in. As usual the first thing I did was grab a drink,
and scan the room for women I didn't know. I was immediately caught
like a deer in the headlights, by the gaze of a pixie. She looked
like a faerie. She was slim, and just plain beautiful. But those eyes,
they were big and dark, glistening. I was caught, and actually had
to think about what to say to her.
Her nickname was Twiggy. I sat and talked to this magical 19 year
old goddess for about an hour, and finally left with her. We walked
back to my apartment, (good old #105) and hit the bed. I remember
it well, because we were in this missionary position, and I was propped
up on my elbows. I was still wearing my wife-beater and socks, and
had a beer in my right hand. Twiggy had a beer in her hand, which
was behind my back, and she kept spilling it on me. I reached around
and grabbed her beer, now I'm on top of this gorgeous animal, with
a beer in both hands, and I'm thinking, "Nobody would believe
this kind of luck exists". I thought about framing that wife-beater,
beer stains and all.
We never had sex again, Twiggy and I. But we became pretty close friends.
After not seeing her for about a week, I asked Rich if he knew where
she was. "Didn't you hear?" He said. "She tried to
Turns out that two of the pretty girls in the posse had insulted her
somehow, and like a true sensitive drunk, she went home, grabbed a
knife and slashed her wrists. This was no razor blade bullshit either,
she took a serrated steak knife and dug 2 giant mouth looking holes
in the left wrist. She tried to do the same with the right wrist but
it didn't work out so well...the tendons from the left hand were too
He told me that she was in the nut house. Unfortunately none of us
knew her by her real name. It took me four hours to find out that
it was "Rebecca".
I'd had girls at the state hospital before, so I knew what to do.
I got her some magazines, a carton of cigarettes, and made her a stuffed
toy. When I saw her, she looked well. Except for the nasty bandages
on her arms she seemed fine. I couldn't really talk to her too well.
This other nutjob kept interrupting...hitting on me.
When she got out, I gave her a futon mattress for her room. Her old
mattress was like a giant used maxi-pad after her attempt. The next
day she comes over and starts talking about the white worms all over
her room. "Well, shit..." I thought "she's cracked
I go down to her house, and sure enough, there were white worms there.
Maggots. Falling from the ceiling on to the floor. Why it was raining
maggots I do not know, but I did consider it rather biblical, and
told her as much. That's when she moved in with me.
I had a small efficiency with a large walk-in closet. Twiggy lived
peacefully in that closet for two months. She handed me some shears
one day and asked me to shave her head into a "Chelsey".
Me, who hadn't had a haircut in 7 years. We sat there on the front
stoop, in a neighborhood of crazy drunks, and nobody thought it was
trashy to cut hair out there. It was a good time. She was like Robin
to my Batman. Hell, she even went with me to check out a blind date.
The girl looked good, but we found out later that she'd had two children
and seven miscarriages. Twiggy warned me, but I already knew. I had
my eyes open. I just wonder how open they would have been without
her as my conscience...
Last I heard Twiggy had gotten married,
and was having a kid. That's good. Perhaps the best parent is the
one who knows what the end of the night looks like, yet managed to
come back. I can see her as a happy wife and mother. Mostly though,
I remember her for those big dark eyes, that held me there the first
time I saw her.