the year of the ram

We try to give what little we have to somebody who hasn't got it,
and maybe they try to give us back some of what they have that we haven't got.
That's what love is. That's all it is.

Anne Rivers Siddons: Nora, Nora

four thousand and seven hundred
1035-1042
1043-1046
1047-1050
1051-1054

ram of the ram
1055-1057
1058-1062
1063-1066
1067-1070

taurus
1071-1074
1075-1078
1079-1081
1082-1084

1035

The Chinese don't seem to be in agreement about this, some of them calling it the Year of the Sheep or even the Year of the Goat. This is especially odd, considering how the Western system makes a clear distinction between the Ram (Aries) and the Goat (Capricorn). The local Chinese community here seem to be totally convinced it's the Ram, and as an Aries-born person, I shall certainly go with that.

Tanioka came out of his "hiding" on Chinese New Year's Eve, bringing Angelo with him. I had returned to the Moanas end of the beach park for the first time in many weeks, was surprised when I saw them approaching my table. So we celebrated the occasion, complimentary from them, with a mini, one-night Follies. Tanioka has almost always been generous but I was indeed touched by Angelo's generosity during the evening and on until the early hours of the next morning. It probably never entered his mind, but he couldn't have done anything more appropriate, and sweet, to balance the credit/debit balance. It was funny, because I've been reading the Tales from the Third Year, starting at about 500, and had earlier in the day been reading the accounts of the very earliest time with Angelo and in those days there was never any question about a "debit" balance.

Angelo was, unusually, itching for a beer. Tanioka offered to pay for it but didn't want to do the actual shopping trip and Angelo didn't have his ID, so I slogged over to the mall and lugged back three bottles of Mickey's. After a short time, Lord Moana joined us. He had "papers" to sell and Tanioka bought one. When we eventually went over to the mall, Angelo spotted (or thought he spotted) the PL and went off in search of her. Tanioka and I went on to the Annex, but Angelo soon joined us (mercifully without the PL). I thought, from the vague replies he'd given during the January Follies, that Angelo and the PL were on the outs, and apparently that is the case, although he still hasn't revealed any details, at least not to me.

After we'd smoked the very mellow stuff from Lord Moana, Tanioka went off to the Garage to indulge himself, lubricant provided by me even if I did tease him about why he shouldn't at least reward me by letting me be an audience. He returned and Angelo brought out a much smaller pipe than I've seen before, sharing with us. The bitter kind (which is more often than not also stronger). After I got through reacting to the first sample from it, I managed to overcome my automatic instinct to spit out something bitter and got quite zonked.

Angelo was very paranoid about the Annex and, granted, it is much more exposed than the Garage. He kept wandering off to a dark place in an office complex across the street which I thought was even more exposed, even if dark. It's right by the parking lot there, so if someone drove in, headlights would certainly expose a person ... without warning. Through the night and early morning hours, though, he kept alternating between being with us and being on his own over there. Tanioka, of course, went to sleep. He said during the last Follies that perhaps he was sleeping so much because of "depression". Yes, perhaps. I do a little envy him for being able to sleep so much. Even when I feel like I wouldn't mind having an afternoon nap, I won't let myself because it's more important to be able to easily sleep at the Black Hole and I know that wouldn't be likely if I slept even as much as an hour during the day. So I stayed awake all night. At about four in the morning, Angelo brought out his pipe again and the two of us finished it off, me again much surprised by his generosity.

It was once again the next morning time to clear the campus locker (First Saturday) so I had to leave in time to get to the university by nine. I was feeling quite shattered, drank two Pepsi's as assistance. I rarely drink the stuff except on the morning after a Follies. Then I went to check the mail. Fabled Pension Check is late this month. Just as well, of course. I had actually considered not even looking for it until after the weekend, especially since I shouldn't start spending any of it until Wednesday. But even though I hadn't contributed any to the purchase of the "papers", incidental expenses meant I was left with only ten dollars for the weeked. Only?? SocSec has me spoiled.

Not that spoiled, though. In the mailbox was a letter from the Social Security Administration explaining the situation with taxation, with a little thing to use for calculating what tax would be due in April (when the dreaded Federal Income Tax bill falls due). It explained that if my SocSec pension plus other income was less than $25,000, no need to worry. Hmmmmm, somehow I doubt I'll ever have to pay income tax again, and I certainly didn't have to use their calculator to figure that out.

I bought a beer, returned to the Moanas end of the beach park, feeling both grateful the check hadn't been there and annoyed that it wasn't. Tanioka had said he'd join me in the park after going to the movies but I guess he must have fallen asleep somewhere instead because he didn't arrive. Lord Moana joined me for awhile, an amusing chat. He has a big remote-controlled toy truck which he's having great fun spinning around the area, like a (very) big kid. I ducked over to the mall to avoid Joe Guam when I saw him start walking my way (we had left the park too early the day before to encounter him).

Although I didn't mention it, one night last week there was sex, well, of sorts, for the second time at the Black Hole. Rather handsome man, probably in his thirties. When I got there on New Year's evening, I quickly settled down and went to sleep. Later I woke for a trip to the toilet and when I returned to my mat, only then did I notice who was on the side of me which had been vacant when I fell asleep. Sorry, my handsome friend, after a Follies, even a mini one, all I wanted to do was sleep. And did.

1036

"I hear you already bought a paper," I said to Tanioka when he appeared in the beach park on Sunday evening. Yes, what a small town this is. I'd seen Paulo earlier and he told me "your friend with glasses" had bought a "paper" from him. I also told Tanioka that Lord Moana had been by earlier with a generous-looking paper he was desperate to sell so he could buy batteries for his truck. Tanioka went off to look for him, but didn't find him, eventually bought another from Paulo and disappeared. I know it's actually most fortunate that our paydays don't coincide, but it's also at least momentarily annoying. (Had it been my payday, that paper from Lord Moana would already have been in my pocket before Tanioka arrived.)

Fortunate, too, then that the Fabled Pension Check didn't arrive until Monday. It's going to be hard enough to stretch it for two weeks without dropping twenty on a "paper", no matter how generous.

I'd finished a very interesting double-feature from Elizabeth George, Playing for the Ashes and A Traitor to Memory (2001). She is admirably progressing from her earlier interest as an American woman who writes classic English mystery novels to far more complex works, especially with that more recent one. Then I ran up against a rarity with me, a book I abandoned without finishing. Clavell's massive Whirlwind got dumped after about two hundred pages.

I was so interested in the second George book that I skipped Prairie Home Companion on Saturday but tuned in for the repeat broadcast on Sunday after Tanioka left. Alas, their annual "joke show" with one hideous "joke" after another, only two of which made me chuckle slightly (and instantly forget).

Yet another new jerk-your-chain tactic at the Black Hole. Now they not only tell you where to put your mat, they insist upon which way you can sleep on it. "Head to head or feet to feet," said the silly man who made me relocate. One does have to wonder why the hell it matters, knowing that it certainly doesn't. Anything to make the hired help feel special. I wonder if the person who is actually in charge of that place knows about all this petty crap? Or cares?

I've continued to spend the sunset hours at the Moanas end of the beach park, ducking over to the mall to avoid Joe Guam when I see him start to head in my direction (and grateful he walks so slowly). Fortunate on Monday evening, especially, since I got to the mall just as someone abandoned a heavy plate lunch box, filled with a large piece of roast chicken, two spareribs, and plentiful fried rice. How to feel pleasantly stuffed when plopping myself down on the mat (even if I do have to get up and reverse position to please some tinpot dictator).

1037

I've been thinking a lot the past few days about friendships defined by money-in-pocket and was mulling it over again in the beach park on Wednesday evening when Angelo arrived with a bearded fellow I vaguely recall having met once before. He reminds me of Bluto. Angelo invited me to join them in a pipe which was sweet of him, but I declined, saying I didn't want to be a moocher. And I thanked him again for his generosity on the Eve of the Ram. Twice before they left, he asked "are you sure?"

What I mean about friendships and finance are these patterns of disappearance, as if the only times we can be together and enjoy each other's company is when we all have money ... and that happens rarely, given the scattered timing of our paydays. I've always thought it admirable of the Sleeptalker to vanish at the time of my payday even though I've wished he wouldn't, and I can well understand how Tanioka prefers to go into hiding when broke (wishing he wouldn't, too, as I told him). Of course, having something as expensive as the ice for a common socializing factor doesn't help. If we were just getting together to drink a few beers, the person with the most money at the moment wouldn't be hardpressed to finance the evening. The pipe makes it quite a burden, especially for those of us who refuse to augment our legal income. That's one of the things I know Angelo finds hard to understand, why I won't spend every penny I've got during a party, because he'll empty his pockets, knowing he'll replenish them via the shopping/pawnshop route the next day.

The reverse of the Sleeptalker's admirable reluctance to take advantage is his habitual disappearance when it's his payday, and I haven't been at all surprised not to have seen him since the third. I've wondered if I should have a "normal" month, skip the glass pipe, have more money for ordinary pleasures. But then I'd have to follow his strategy and disappear myself after Third Wednesday. Annoying to have these valued friendships so tangled up with money, it really is.

1038

After a delightful run of warm, sunny days the weather went topsy-turvy (or huli-huli in Hawaiian) on Thursday. Gray, gloomy, quite cool with almost constant drizzle from early morning until mid-afternoon, with several torrential downpours. I got soaked, dried out, got soaked, repeat repeat, until I finally gave up and headed to the mall, used the lovely newly-arrived foodstamps to get a big roast beef sandwich, potato chips. Used some of the dwindling supply of green paper for a beer and spent several hours on the sheltered rainy-day bench while rain fell and fell. Then at about three in the afternoon it finally started to clear so I waited awhile for things to dry out a bit and then went to the beach park for my sunset beer.

Bonnie and Clyde, together again. Walking through the mall I saw Angelo and the PL scurrying along in front of me, laden with heavy bags. They must have had quite an ambitious shopping spree. I saw them jump in a taxi. I wish I hadn't seen them at all because it depressed me. So sad for such young people to be living such a risky life. One or both of them is sure to eventually end up in jail and for what, this madness of a temporarily luxurious life. Yes, I wish I hadn't seen them, would rather not know about it.

The tradewinds returned on Friday, clear and sunny but in the early morning as cold as I think it has gotten so far this winter. Never mind we have it so comfy here, I'm still weary of winter and eagerly awaiting spring. After shivering in the morning, it was warm enough to be sweating in the early afternoon sunshine, that odd situation where it felt a little too cool in the shade but too warm in the sun. Lord Moana said I should sit in a spot that was half-and-half, turn myself every so often. After lunch in the secluded grove and giving the kittens some foodstamp-provided mackerel, I went to the State Library, grabbed three books and went to the beach park with my first bottle of a new malt liquor called "Steel Reserve". Brewed in Texas, another one of these "high gravity" brews which is supposedly 8.1, topping Olde English High Gravity slightly. Not bad, not bad.

Paulo stopped by briefly, told me Pedro was sleeping in the park again. I think he meant Inri, who walked by several times without stopping, because Pedro later did come along and said, no, he wasn't sleeping in the park, was sharing an apartment somewhere. I was alone again and reading when Lord Moana staggered over, drunk as the proverbial lord, carrying a plastic Pepsi bottle half full of clear liquid. Vodka. He wanted to sample the beer, too, so I exchanged a swig of my bottle for a swig of his. A very little swig. Straight, warm vodka's not my cuppa tea. He had a radio hooked up to a squawky little speaker which he kept dropping on the ground. Finally he sprawled on the picnic table and passed out or went to sleep or both, leaving the bag he was carrying on the bench. I was struck with a bizarre feeling of desire, decided I'd better get the hell out of there before Lady M came along because she would probably have had a jealous fit. I walked down to their area and told her Lord M was passed out on the table by the bus stop. "Let him stay there," she said. "Okay, I just wanted you to know about it."

I unwisely went for another beer (although back to weak old Mickey's) and sat at another, nearby table. Eventually Lord Moana surfaced, waved and went off to their encampment area. Paulo, Inri, Pedro, Lord and Lady Moana ... like old times. Then miraculously Joe Guam walked past without stopping. Hallelujah, maybe he has finally gotten the message that I can happily live without his nightly boring monologues.

Earlier I'd continued reading the Tales from the third year, reaching number 600. It seems astonishing now that I was picking up so much money from quarters in the mall. Without the shopping carts, it's rare to find as much as a dollar these days (except on those extraordinary recent days when finding lost pieces of green paper). And what a tangle of a dance it was with Angelo, Tanioka (then "Rossini"), Rocky and the Sleeptalker. It is fast approaching the point, if it already hasn't, where they will be at the top of the list of people I've known for the longest continuous time in my adult life.

1039

A quiet weekend, Saturday made more than special by the Metropolitan Opera broadcast of Bellini's Il Pirata, a new production wisely created for Renée Fleming who provided some truly breathtaking moments of beautiful music and dazzling singing. So far as I can remember, that's the first time I've heard the complete opera but there's probably a bootleg version with Callas which I might have heard a long time ago. I'm sure this broadcast will instantly soar to the top of the list of operatic bootleg recordings, wish I'd had the sense to buy some kind of recording device and capture it myself. I surely do hope NPR broadcasts her Traviata from Houston in April.

Radio dominated the evening, as well, with the annual Valentine show from Prairie Home Companion, so enjoyable that I was later than usual getting to the Black Hole. Fortunately, we're still close enough to welfare-money time that the place isn't as crowded as it will be in a few days although the choices were still limited and I had to sleep next to Spot who thankfully was already asleep. I was late getting there on Sunday, too, and was searching for a place when a young fellow said, "excuse me, sir, this space is vacant," indicating the space next to him. Amazing.

Continuing reading earlier Tales, I enjoyed the period between the arrival of Crazy Money and the first Follies (674). Reviewing and remembering that time is especially apt now in this x equals week before Third Wednesday. Drinking beer in bars, treating friends, eating breakfast at a campus cafe whenever in the mood. Yes, it adds to the question dominant in mind now as to whether the Follies are really worth the expense, balanced against a more "normal" lifestyle spread through the month instead of concentrating it into one extravagant, luxurious splurge. No answers, no resolutions. I know myself too well and accept that any decision will be one of the moment. And so it should be.

Much as I dislike the Black Hole and fondly remember the public sleeping places we found in those days, I do have to admit that it is so much more comfortable, once having found a spot for the mat and, of course, placing oneself upon the mat in the orientation desired by the Guardians, to slip into dreamland without worrying about a flashlight suddenly shining in one's eyes, with no worry about harrassment (unless there's a fire drill or one is sleeping next to a thrasher or snorer) until rising time at about five the next morning. Admittedly, I do now and then think how totally ludicrous it is to end up my life in such circumstances but I'm obviously too lazy to do anything to alter them.

Joe Guam caught me in the beach park on Monday evening. Someone must have told him what I'd been saying about him because he started by saying, "I don't want to bore you." But he did want to share the news that he's altered his long-time loyalty to Mickey's Ice. Yep, has switched to that wicked Texas brew, "Steel Reserve". Funny, because I was just finishing one. A good excuse to cut short the conversation and head to the mall for another, but I chickened out and got a Mickey's instead. I don't think I need more than one "Steel" in a day. And unless I soon have one of those lucky found-green-paper days, it's going to be ONE per day quite soon now.

I did smile when I got to Tale 632 and read: I'm amused a little by realizing it is actually Rossini [Tanioka] I most miss. He's just such an easy fellow to be with, made even more so by having no big physical yearning for him. Yep, still feel that way in 1039.

1040

I'm afraid the Feast Day of Saint Valentine was not so sweet where the weather was concerned. As in Tale 704, so in this 1040. It was gray and gloomy on the day before, constantly threatening rain, but I did manage to enjoy lunch in the secluded grove, feed the kittens and the birds whom I'd neglected on Wednesday, going instead to Waikiki at mid-day. Before sunset, though, the rains arrived and there were several, brief but very heavy downpours. I stayed on the sheltered bench in the mall until time for the Black Hole, grateful the rain dwindled a bit just when the bus arrived at the stop across from the shelter so I was able to get inside without being drenched. Valentine's Day morning, though, was cold, windy and very wet.

Dreams filled with Bad Boys and drugs. Compensation for the total lack of them in waking life? I told myself I was being thoroughly unreasonable but I have grumbled a bit in the past couple of days about that absence, at least of the Boys. Without one of them as company, I don't feel any particular yearning for drugs (aside from this new Texas brew). But it has only been two weeks since that party so I don't really have any right to grumble. Doesn't stop my mind from doing so ... and from contemplating making myself scarce on Third Wednesday.

I begin to feel cut off from all the Boys. "You need a new hobby," I told myself. Uh-huh. I need some new Boys, that's what I need, perk life up a little in these last weeks of Winter 2001. [709] Deja vu, deja vu.

As usual in the week before that eagerly awaited Wednesday, I've spent more time in the mall. Not with much success so far as quarters are concerned, but providing a generous supply of lengthy snipes and more food options than I needed or wanted. And on one afternoon I found a pair of Sony headphones left on a planter ledge, much better than the ones that came with my radio (and probably cost at least twice as much as my radio/headphones). Bizarre that someone could not notice leaving them, but perhaps they'd bought even better ones and deliberately threw the old ones away. Nice of them not to do so in the trash, if that's the case.

While I was enjoying the new headphones I finally made the effort to label, number and sign the remaining drawings from 2002 and even did a new one, the first since Thanksgiving. This despite the fact that several of my pens had run dry so the choice was limited. Yes, Mister Rauschenberg, I know, work with available materials.

Yet another crackdown on the beach park population, as if the weather gods aren't already making life hard enough for them. (The Star-Bulletin's version of the story)

As I've said before, they are (or some of them are) partly to blame for this, setting up permanent encampments, dominating some areas of the park day after day (and night after night). And indeed, some of them are very careless about litter. I've grumbled myself about the times I go to the park and every shaded table is occupied by homeless people and about the wretched Wobbly and the way he tosses trash all around his bench. It's more than understandable how working people complain when they go to enjoy the park in their free time. But this solution of emptying the park from midnight to four in the morning three nights a week is just plain ludicrous. If, as one story claims, the shower/toilet complexes are trashed within minutes of them being cleaned, what's the point of doing it at that time of night? (In my experience, that claim is a wild exaggeration. Those buildings are usually cleaned between six and eight in the morning and don't get all that grubby until evening, if at all.)

And most ludicrous of all is the claim that this operation has nothing to do with ousting the homeless. Who else is using the park in those hours, aside from occasional night fishermen and in warmer months an all-night party now and then. Despite the disclaimer, it's harassment of the homeless, plain and simple, and promises absolutely no solution to the problem.

Not a chance of lunch in the secluded grove on Valentine's Day. Poor kittens, although they are old enough now and have begun to explore more widely so will undoubtedly find the other nearby sources of daily food. The mother cat must already know them since she so rarely comes down to join in the largesse provided by me. So I don't feel as badly about neglecting them as I would have when they were younger. Just as well, since there's not much to be expected from me for the next few days.

So I spent the afternoon and early evening in the mall, sufficiently depressed by the gloomy day (and not helped by it being the Feast of Saint Valentine) to say to hell with it and have two beers instead of the one I should have had. It didn't help that the store was sold out of the Texas brew, either. There's one man who always sits in Philo Walk in the evenings but sometimes sits during the day on what I regard as my Rainy Day bench, where he was when I arrived with my first beer. He doesn't like sharing those two benches so soon went on his way. Fine with me. Later, alas, another bum settled on the bench next to me and ate a half-gallon of ice cream so quickly it made me shudder.

The mall was incredibly crowded, helped of course by all the park people taking refuge from the rain. Plenty of snipes, more than plenty of food again, but only one abandoned stroller. Where are those pieces of green paper when I need them? (Well, want them, anyway.) And the Black Hole was maxed-out. There wasn't a single space in the big room when I arrived so I took a spot in the smaller one, rest pass or no rest pass. I finally figured out why they've instituted that policy. If a night worker arrives at, say, three in the morning, he's apt to find no empty spaces. So reserving that room for people like that is no doubt the reason. No idea what those folks did on Friday night, because by midnight that room was full-up, too.

I dreamed I was in Egypt with Rocky. Keep on truckin', Mister Dreamweaver.

1041

Travis is unquestionably one of the most desireable human beings I have ever seen. I can't see "auras" but I can sense them and I feel certain he is a kind, gentle, sweet, slightly bashful young man and just as cute as anyone can get. I was stunned to see him again, stood at the counter gaping and the young lady waiting for me to get it together and hand her my discount card and money must have thought I was stoned or drunk. [757]

Easy to get the impression that I'm on some kind of cyclic carousel. That same paragraph exactly applies to my visit to the supermarket on Saturday afternoon. I wondered if Travis would think I was totally mad if I asked to photograph him. I know I'd be mad to offer him an entire SocSec check for his body ... and bet he'd say no even if I did.

Young crusaders, young crusaders. I was approached in the secluded grove mid-day on Saturday by two young evangelists. One of them was quite cute and aside from that immediate advantage also had much better manners than his friend. Nothing turns me off more about one of these wannabe-convert-makers than arrogance and he was indeed arrogant, and a nag. No progress at all, I fear, but I did congratulate them on having found an "answer" at such an early age (even if I had to wonder if the arrogant one was likely to remain satisfied with that answer or to find much happiness from it). I did enjoy the cute one, though, and he's welcome to try again anytime. Then in the evening at the mall three young people were holding up a huge banner chastising Neimann-Marcus for selling furs. I told the young woman handing out leaflets that I thought they had their priorities wrong, that it was far more important to protest the likely killing of thousands, maybe tens of thousands, of human beings than to worry about raccoons at this particular time. She told me she had been on the protest march earlier in the day to Pearl Harbor but agreed the significance of that protest was much greater and probably accounted for the small turnout at the fur protest. A little later a small army of mall security people arrived but didn't actually approach the protesters, possibly because too many of us at the bus stop were watching so closely. I gave them my best glare. After all, the young people were on the public sidewalk, not in the mall. It was none of the mall security people's business, no matter how embarrassing and annoying it might have been to "Neiman Carcass". The protesters rolled up their banner and went on their way, confrontation avoided.

The Airport Couple is often mentioned in the 700-something Tales and they're still active characters, although on the outs right now. The Fat Man has taken up with an older than usual fellow, someone who now and then was seen with the Couple. The Younger Half has been entirely on his own. Even though they all often board the same early bus from the Black Hole, they sit at opposite ends of the bus. Must have been a major quarrel. The Younger Half has been sitting at the same computer in Hamilton Library every morning, arriving before me (as does the wretched False Prophet). The major advantage of the Airport Couple split is not having to endure their inane conversation while waiting for the bus, but there is an even worse replacement, a dreadful man in his fifties who holds forth with great authority to anyone he can latch on to. Such an incredible racist, bigot and ignoramus. I'm very happy I never see him elsewhere.

When I got to the mall on Saturday I immediately found a cigarette box, half-full, and then noticed some Japanese tourists returning a stroller without pushing it in far enough to trigger the refund, so scored two quarters. Alas, that initial burst of good luck didn't continue, although I might have given it more of a chance had I not settled down with my sunset beer in the beach park listening to Prairie Home Companion. Although the music on the show was good, since it was coming from Nashville's Grand Old Oprey it was surprising, and a little disappointing, that they didn't have someone like Dolly Parton or Emmielou Harris on. Their pokes at The Bush are definitely the best on radio, got several laughs out of me.

It's a good thing I only said I should have made that New Year's Resolution and didn't actually do it. Because x does equal 2. And I surely will be happy to see those two gone by.

1042

Days of solitude, continued. Well, my fault, since I could have gone to the Hawaii Stories picnic on Sunday, could have joined Helen R and Mme de Crécy in seeing Adaptation on Monday, could probably even have joined Angelo and Rocky who walked past me in the mall, called out greetings and kept walking. Just not in the mood for company. This was the worst x equals time yet, no matter how many times I told myself that it didn't make nearly as much difference as I was letting myself believe. In such a state of nonsensical near-hysteria, solitude is by far the wisest option.

What will run out? Will such-and-such run out? Always a monthly question. Toothpaste came damned close this time, batteries went over the edge, not helped when the radio somehow got switched on in the bag and had been going for who knows how long before I noticed it. So I had to trade batteries back and forth between the razor and the radio. A most delightful surprise from that little radio on Sunday afternoon. I was afraid I was going to finish my book too quickly so decided to take a radio break. Michael Lasser's hour of theatre music! I haven't been able to listen to it on Saturday evenings because it's on too late for my Black Hole life. When I discovered that Prairie Home Companion is repeated on the weaker NPR station, I should have done a little research to find out what else gets repeated. Lasser's show was all songs about the heart, including some most enjoyable tracks, especially two by Crosby I would like to have added to the Sleeptalker-inspired CD Kory K made for me.

I should have left the battery in the razor on Tuesday evening though. There is a talk show called Left, Right and Center which I must stop listening to, at least for as long as The Bush is president. The representatives of the "right" are too much like that moron who spouts forth at the bus stop every morning, although they do stop short of his solution, "line up all the Muslims and shoot them." Not far short, though.

My last dollars went for a beer on Monday, so Tuesday was a beer-free day (the first this year, if I remember correctly). Not alcohol-free, though. Lord Moana gave me a bottle of vodka. He said he'd been going at it too heavily, was getting headaches. I can believe it, he has been thoroughly sloshed every time I've seen him in the past few days. So I made do with the appalling mix of ice and Coke (or whatever turned up) with vodka, confirming once again that I am not an alcoholic, I'm a beeraholic.

Such a sweet dream on Tuesday night, smoking magic weed with the Sleeptalker. He was puffing so hard on it I told him he was in danger of sucking the herb right out of that paper tube.

1043

Jonathan Cainer's messages for Third Wednesday and the following day were as grim as anything he's ever written for Aries and, alas, displayed all too well his often uncanny accuracy. I did write that the magic envelope from SocSec having a delivery date printed on it no doubt guaranteed it would never be early but wouldn't stop it from being late. Ain't it the truth. The damned thing didn't arrive until Friday.

A reader puzzled over why the x equals time is so difficult. I think it's because that time combines so many things I dislike having in my mind or in my life. Waiting. Empty pockets. Coming perilously close to regretting, scolding myself for having been so dumb. It's all very tedious and made even more irksome by knowing it doesn't really matter.

So having that nasty combination unexpectedly extended by two days was not a pleasure (he says in major understatement) and I walked around grumbling about how Dame Fortune had abandoned me ... even if she did put a stroller in my path each day, guaranteeing the next morning's coffee. I still had some vodka left for Wednesday. Unless it's in a bona fide bar-made Bloody Mary, I seriously doubt I'll be drinking that stuff again anytime soon. Vodka with whatever mixer-and-ice turns up is a lousy way to escape alcohol withdrawal pains. When the mailbox was still empty on Thursday, I went directly to Kory K's office and begged for mercy. Then I got fairly drunk on that Texas hardhitting brew, two of them.

Did the same on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

As I told a reader, all I really want is beer, tobacco and a good book. But that's not entirely true, and I do miss seeing the Bad Boys. Whatever can they all be doing? I went to the Garage and the Annex looking for Tanioka. No success, and it didn't look like anyone had been using the Annex at all, no ashes.

After almost two weeks of relying on abandoned food, it was a pleasure to buy the stuff again, for me and the poor kittens who must have thought themselves abandoned by fortune, too. Italian on Friday, lasagna from Sbarro's. Mexican on Saturday, beef enchiladas that surely could have used some more chili peppers. Hawaiian on Sunday, beef lau lau and Kalua pig.

A shopping expedition to Chinatown on Saturday. A new bag, sensibly black this time, and a Year of the Ram tee shirt which I later decided I don't really like but it was cheap enough not to matter and since a bird had dumped a considerable load on the tee shirt I was wearing, it was either replace it or wash it and I certainly wasn't going to spend time in a laundromat the day after payday. Those dumping birds are becoming a real menace in the beach park, bombarding the only two tables which are in the shade in the late afternoon.

Chats with Lord Moana each day, a splendid hour of Ella Fitzgerald on Michael Lasser's show, and the treat of another Cat Who ... book.

Life after x equals ...

1043a

all I really want is beer, tobacco and a good book ...

... and music. This month's big extravagance. Two double-CD sets, the Rolling Stones 40 Licks and The Very Best of Fleetwood Mac. Old times, good times. I heard about their impending release a few weeks before they arrived in the shops but too much went up in smoke last month to satisfy my yearning for them. Yes, okay, too extravagant, but at least there is something to show for it the next day.

Having money is almost as big a pain in the butt as having none.

1044

Tanioka is in jail, will appear in court on Thursday for arraignment and plea. The charge is "Theft 2". $11,000 bail.

The PL is in jail. Because she got caught with some seven hundred dollars worth of merchandise (in a Waikiki store), she's facing a felony charge and may be inside for quite some time unless her attorney manages to successfully use her mentally disturbed condition as a mitigating circumstance.

Angelo came to the beach park on Tuesday afternoon and told me about the PL. He speculated that Tanioka might also be in jail since he thought that even if Tanioka had gone to his stepfather's house, he would have come into town now and then. So I checked the judiciary website on Wednesday morning and discovered the jail theory is, alas, correct.

Angelo looked fine and was in a bubbly mood, told me all sorts of yarns about what he's been doing, almost none of which I believed. I think he was just flirting and/or trying to shock me. The flirting worked, the shocking didn't. Then Rocky came along. I guess Angelo and Rocky are doing the full buddy team routine now. Unlike Angelo, Rocky looked awful. He has lost so much weight, sunken cheeks, ribs showing (as I saw when he displayed his chest for me). The pair of them are direct opposites as examples of what heavy use of that glass pipe does to people physically. They admitted to having been smoking the stuff daily, and naturally tried to persuade me to join them in a party, claiming it wouldn't be anything heavy because Rocky has a job at the River of Life soup kitchen and has to be at work early in the morning. And they wanted to go to Mondo's place to smoke. When I gave a firm no to that, then the Garage was the alternative suggestion. I'd re-read the tale of that disastrous Follies with the two of them only a few days ago, was glad the memory had been refreshed, because it was tempting to join the party even though I know so well that the two of them (or, the three of us) and the pipe aren't a good mix. So I resisted. It may be more difficult if Tanioka is stuck inside for long.

They weren't the only ones out to lure me. Paulo had stopped by the table earlier trying to persuade me to buy a "paper" and smoke with him. The day before he had greatly amused me when he exclaimed, "I love you! I love you!" "No, you don't," I said, "you've never dropped your pants for me." He laughed and gave me a pat on the shoulder. The exchange was prompted by my giving him the two dollars he asked for. He had somehow acquired a "large fish" and wanted to buy onions and tomatoes to turn it into what I suppose is the Filipino version of lomi lomi salmon. I declined the invitation to dine ... and the one to smoke.

It's easy to understand why the Sleeptalker flees to Waianae to escape the temptations. No one has seen him, either, but at least his name isn't on that dreaded judiciary web page.

1045

There are certainly numerous examples in these Tales of what a pleasure Angelo's company can be and, alas, some which document the exact opposite. Although he had not seemed especially perturbed by the PL's fate when he first told me about it he had a delayed reaction, I guess, because he was thoroughly off-balance when he came to the beach park looking for me on Thursday afternoon. I understand and sympathize because I'm more depressed by the news of Tanioka than I would have expected, but the effort to help Angelo out of his weird mood was, in the end, a mistake and a failure, another one of those "I just can't believe it" fiascos. (One would think by now I should have learned the lesson that what I find unbelievable is unfortunately all too likely to happen, sooner or later.)

Angelo first tried to get me to join him and a friend with a truck to share a pipe. I said I wasn't in the mood to smoke with a stranger. He said we could just get the friend to drive us to a source and then we'd dump him. Talk about a "user"! The debate was settled without us reaching a conclusion when he spotted the friend driving off.

I suggested that we get a "paper" from Paulo and smoke with him, an offer which was quickly accepted. Paulo and several other people have set up dome tents in a corner of the park near the Moana's usual table, so the three of us went into one of tents and shared the pipe. I gave Paulo money to buy beer for us all. Crazy Annie was in a tent next to ours and making a nuisance of herself as usual, getting Angelo twitchy and wanting to leave the park. He'd been that way all along, insisting we should change locations every fifteen minutes or so. He told me he's been staying with someone in Mondo's building and repeatedly tried to persuade me to go there, with some rather odd accounts of what goes on. It sounds as if the fellow might be gay, but he has a collection of straight porn and has several times enjoyed watching Angelo get himself off, or at least that's the story he told me. It might just have been an attempt to deepen the lure of going there?

I said I didn't want to go all the way out there because I was already feeling quite high and didn't want the hassle of getting back into town if I found myself uncomfortable as an uninvited guest. After more efforts to persuade me, he finally agreed to the Garage instead and I bought half a paper from Paulo to take along. Angelo was incredibly greedy with that batch and I really should have pulled up stakes and gone on to the Black Hole, letting him go on his own to his new friend. He didn't want to do that, though, wanted to hang out with me (and he tried again to change my mind about going there with him). But he then went into a long ramble about the PL, once again making me wish I could somehow ease his mind, but at the same time getting a little irked by his occasional sniping at me in the way he goes after the PL. I am definitely not interested in playing substitute PL!

By then it was past eleven, too late for the Black Hole, and he started begging for another paper. Eventually I yielded, walked with him to the drugstore and gave him a twenty to do the shopping, as usual waited outside for him. Foolishly, I waited next to the Korean bar where I couldn't see the drugstore entrance, but then who would have thought it necessary?

The rascal vanished.


Tanioka's trial has been set for April 28th.

1046

Earworm! That, according to a report on NPR, is what the Germans call the "internal jukebox". And research reveals that the most frequently encountered infestations of earworm include "I dream of Jeannie with the light brown hair ...". Poor Stephen Foster. Well, yes, I admit, I do get that now and then. (Needless to say, I was somewhat stunned by that radio report.) I just wish I didn't so often get this hideous fifties song, "I Wonder Who's Kissing Her Now". Stupid earworm.

(I was not overly surprised to discover there is actually a band which calls itself Earworm.)

My little radio happily provided a respite from the earworm on Saturday with a broadcast from the Met of Turandot. I do think they should just stop that opera at the exact moment when Puccini wrote his last note of it, but even so, it was splendid to hear it again in a solid, if not thrilling, performance. The Met is evidently in a Puccini mood, since Boheme is promised next week. No complaint.

I must be looking more destitute than usual. Almost every day someone has asked me if I am hungry or if I want food. Every time I have honestly said, no, I was not hungry but thanked them for their kind offer. And twice during the opera, a stranger nomad in the park walked over and asked if I was "okay".

No, not really, but I had no desire to leave Puccini's lush music to explain the reasons why I wasn't. Starting with Angelo.

It's difficult to just drop him completely, it really is, but I think he has used up his quota of forgiveness this lifetime.

And that makes me definitely not in an "okay" state. Okinawa and Tanioka in prison, the Sleeptalker (presumably) in exile, Rocky and Angelo two men I cannot trust ...

Oh well, Panther and the Bad Boys was a damned good show, had a long run. Could hardly hope for a "Mousetrap", could I?

1047

"I'm sorry about the other night," said Angelo.
"You should be."
"I am, really."

Okay, I give him credit for the apology, a better approach than the Sleeptalker's method of pretending it never happened. But the apology would have had more weight if accompanied by restitution (and that would fall into the "I can't believe it" realm). I was much surprised to see him at the bus stop near the Black Hole just after five in the morning. No, he hadn't been staying there, had been on a shopping expedition at K-Mart. Pre-dawn shoplifting ... what a life. He went to the back of the bus when it arrived, I stayed in the front, and I assume he got off at the drugstore to trade his merchandise for pipe filling.

After lunch in the secluded grove on Monday, I went to collect the Fabled Pension Check but wasn't in a hurry to cash it. When I got out the plastic bag I use to store official paperwork and stuff to add the check, I was amazed to find nine dollars tucked in there. I have absolutely no memory of putting it there and wonder if it was sitting there unnoticed during last month's x equals time. I must be going crazy.

Paulo stopped to chat later in the beach park, told me someone had made off with the tents. They should have been more careful, arranged it so at least one of them stayed in the area. The most probable villains are the park cleaning people. Lord Moana came along, trying to sell five dollar bags of weed. Five dollars?! Yes, he said he'd had too much trouble trying to sell twenty dollar bags so had split them up. I declined. Then Joe Guam stopped briefly, even though he more often than not these days just walks on by. But he wanted to tell me about getting banned from the ABC Store where he has for years bought his forty-ounce bottle in the early morning. The manager just told him he couldn't shop there anymore. Bizarre. I know, Joe does indeed look very grubby but he doesn't stink and at that hour of the morning it seems absurd to refuse his money.

I told Angelo during our brief morning exchange, "well, next year you'll have the new Wal-Mart store."
"I probably won't be alive next year," he said.

1048

The Rocky/Angelo team were waiting for me in the beach park when I arrived on Tuesday afternoon. They were sitting at the bus stop with brown-bagged bottles. I stopped and said hello, walked on to a nearby table. They joined me, of course, and launched into quite an amusing routine trying to persuade me to "party" with them. Rocky even went so far as to say I could have his body! There surely was a time when that would have been an irresistable offer. But I had no desire to party with Angelo, even less to do it with both of them. It's amazing Angelo thinks he can rip someone off and come around just a few days later expecting to get a chance to do it again.

Paulo joined us for awhile and then a fellow I've not met before came over to say hello to Rocky. Very sexy man although looking pretty wrecked as well. He'd only been there a short while before an older man came looking for him, acted like a combination of a jealous wife and a fretting mama. Most peculiar couple.

Rocky and Angelo finally gave up and went on their way. I left the two newcomers and went to the mall for another beer. A man handed me some coins as we walked past each other (45 cents worth)! Yes, I must be looking derelict.

After a quiet Wednesday morning on campus and the usual luxurious lunch with the newly arrived foodstamps largesse, I finally went to cash the Fabled Pension Check. Barring unforeseen disasters or a fit of insane extravagance, the x equals time should be less penurious than in recent months.

They came to the beach park again! Same routine. Although I know it sounds utterly bizarre, I think they've fallen into a typical ice-inspired obsessive fantasy. (Believe me, they do happen.) Why they are suddenly so keen on giving up their bodies, presumably while watching each other get taken care of, is a mystery, but that seems to be the case. We did skirt close to that not long ago when Angelo was musing about me giving him a blow job while Tanioka watched, and he also taunted me with the idea once with Okinawa as intended witness. Kinky, but then many ice-inspired fantasies are.

What to do, what to do. Of course it's an amusing temptation and there's no question it would be fun to finally get Rocky, with or without a witness. But I stopped myself from yielding. Only just.

1049

After that ... errrr .... rather exotic beginning, the rest of the week was blandly mundane. The tradewinds died on Wednesday, replaced by the fortunately unusual winds from an easterly direction. That always means any kind of thing can happen, weatherwise (did Eisenhower really coin that term?). Happily, I was able to have lunch in the secluded grove and feed the kittens, who are almost too old now to be called anything but young cats, was eventually driven to shelter when rain began. Then it stopped, and I went to the beach park, but once again was forced to head for shelter. This, of course, made for very crowded conditions at the Black Hole where they have yet another new mind-games twist.

Twice in the past week or so I've arrived, gone to get a mat, given my name and number, and have been gleefully told I am "suspended". (I am not exaggerating when I use the term "gleeful"). I can't blame them for getting fed up with people who leave their mats in the morning instead of returning them to the corner collection point, but if they really want to pursue the problem, they need someone there in the early morning to receive the mats, check off that number as having been returned. Or at least keep a close eye on people who come along and grab a mat from those which have been returned. They do neither. Since I usually leave between 4:30 and 5:00 each morning, there's no guarantee at all that someone won't come along and take the mat, leave it wherever they dumped it. It's even entirely possible some weirdos would do so deliberately to cause trouble. Not wishing to appear paranoid, but I really do suspect that's what is happening in my case. As always with these mind-games, we look for solutions. Leave later? Just skip getting a mat and sleep on my beach towel on the concrete floor? Make sure my mat is buried under one or two others when I return it in the morning? I've been trying the last option, as well as leaving a little later than I'd sometimes prefer.

Pedro came to the beach park on Thursday and sat with me awhile before going off to his job. The place where he has been staying has raised the rent, wants $400/month (for a room in a shared apartment!), so he is planning to go homeless again. Rents in this town are so ridiculous. I discovered that even the YMCA wants $130/week for a tiny room, shared toilets and showers, and remember with a certain wry amusement how we long-timers got upset when the NYC YMCA raised the rent to $75. A month.

Yes, I know, I know. I probably should get it together and leave this absurdly expensive place.

Thursday was horribly steamy and humid, then it switched to being quite cool on Friday, especially in the early morning. The usual see-saw weather of easterly winds. I finally stopped my procrastination and spent a couple of hours in the laundromat. I have far too many clothes right now, a result of the little locker on campus, discarded two tee shirts but still have the backpack so full of stuff I can't consolidate my daily bag with that during the obligatory First and Third Saturday removals. The problems of affluence.

And of course, I spent much time thinking about the Rocky/Angelo problem. Knowing how terribly insecure Rocky is, I feel quite guilty about rejecting his wonderfully interesting offer, did try (especially during a couple of moments when Angelo went off to water a tree) to make it quite clear to him that I would be delighted to have his body. But I know he'll still have seen it as rejection, probably made even worse by having had Angelo as a witness. And there's a part of me which realizes the "price" I've paid in having been ripped off by these guys is really small change compared to what they've added to my life.

Jonathan Cainer said there was no need to "think" during the weekend. Unfortunately, he didn't offer any suggestion as to how to stop doing so.

1050

On Monday morning the earworm was firmly stuck on the road to Morocco, thanks to Michael Lasser's amusing hour on Sunday featuring songs of "Araby". Hearing the topic, I immediately started to guess what he'd be playing, was right about songs from Desert Song and Kismet and that sprightly ditty, "Sheikh of Araby". But he played some things I don't remember ever having heard before, including an early twenties song called "Baghdad". Sophie Tucker's "Old King Tut" was splendid as was Messrs. Crosby and Hope's Morocco-bound nonsense. A most entertaining broadcast.

Entertaining, but now and then a little embarrassing. So many of the lyrics were condescending, almost racist, a caricature of Arabian civilization. It only takes a very shallow investigation of history to see what glories that civilization has achieved. But then these songs undoubtedly more closely mirror current American foreign policy than a study of history, which was perhaps Lasser's reason for putting together the show.

It isn't always easy being an American, but it certainly hasn't been this difficult since the Vietnam debacle.

An uneventful weekend. The broadcast of La Boheme from the Met was a peculiar one. The first two acts were so uninspired I almost gave up on it but in the final two acts the cast and conductor seemed to wake up. In an intermission feature on the relationship between Toscanini and Puccini they played an Act I excerpt with Albanese/Merrill/Toscanini which more than made it clear what a pedestrian performance we had been listening to. Maybe they heard it backstage and got jolted into shaping up?

It is rather amazing how rarely I exit the Black Hole to find it pouring rain outside (impossible to tell from inside), and once again I got lucky on Sunday morning, was already at the mall when it started pouring. And it continued doing so almost nonstop throughout the morning. I was beginning to wonder if the kittens were going to have a fast day and I was going to get drenched in my quest for a lunchtime beer when it finally stopped. The secluded grove was too drenched even so, but at least I could give my feline friends some lunch before going to a sheltered bench for my own.

Despite the continuing absence of tradewinds, Monday was a sunny, most pleasant day. Good thing, too, since the internal weather was on the edge of murky. Cainer wrote: "There may be a lot you lack but it is surely better to have the right sort of nothing than the wrong sort of something."

I guess so.

1051

As expected, Angelo and Rocky have had a falling out. They stayed in Waianae for three days at Angelo's mother's house. Then Angelo's sister drove them somewhere (a suburban mall, probably) to do a shopping expedition. Rocky evidently got lucky and ended up with about seventy dollars profit ... which he then refused to share with Angelo. Splutter, splutter about how greedy Rocky is. This, especially after Rocky had been fed the whole time he was staying there. (I didn't point out the probability that the food had been provided by mama, was no direct credit to Angelo.) And there was some vague story about how Rocky had been a nuisance with his "tough guy" act. I did murmur something then about how that has always been a part of Rocky's personality although didn't go into details about my own perception of that routine being Rocky's main method to cope with insecurity. And I am sure being in Waianae would have helped to trigger the "tough guy" stuff, since I've seen that to a lesser degree with the Sleeptalker after he has been staying in that "tough" environment.

Angelo came to the beach park at sunset on Wednesday, said he'd been there earlier looking for me. And he was back to begging me to party with him, again dangling his body as bait (a temptation considerably weakened by the absence of Rocky, although I didn't say so, of course). I told him I didn't want to party when I was broke and that I only had beer money for the days between now and payday. He nevertheless tried to get a dollar out of me but failed. I said I had to do a final snipes run through the mall and he tagged along, continuing trying to get me to change my mind about a party and planning to do some shopping to finance it. At one point he handed me a "paper" and asked me to hold it for him for five minutes while he was in the store, not wanting to risk getting busted with that in his pocket. I thought it would serve him right if I just ran off with the little bag, but when I looked at it I saw there was nothing but crumbs left anyway. (Even if it had been full, I doubt I could have been as mean to him as he was to me.) When he returned, without any merchandise, I gave him the bag and said I had to leave. He still tagged along but when we got to the stage area there was some show going on with a very cute young Filipino lad singing "Unchained Melody" so I stopped to listen (well, mainly to ogle) and Angelo wandered on.

After all that I was much later than usual getting to the Black Hole, got pointed to a corner where I've never slept before. Very, very warm there since none of the overhead fans are working and none of the floor models are aimed that way. I'd hate to get stuck there during the summer. There was the advantage of quite an attractive new lad sleeping nearby, the threatened disadvantage of that "focking punk" guy also being near but fortunately he didn't go into his sometimes four a.m. rant. I noticed he had a bottle of medication by his mat, so maybe he's taking something to control his raving.

Joe Guam is trying to edge back to his old routine of lengthy chats each evening so I gave him a slight cold shoulder on Wednesday to discourage it. I don't mind him stopping now and then, or if he really has something he needs to talk about, but I don't want that daily rundown of every boring detail of his boring life. He did have an interesting complaint on Tuesday, said the police were hanging around the toilet/showers early in the morning telling people (like him, anyway) that they couldn't use them. Joe may just have to clean up his act, or his appearance anyway. He gets enough money every week from his benefactor that he could take a bus to the Black Hole, get a free meal, and some free new, clean clothes. But he doesn't want to hear such things.

I told Angelo before leaving him that he should make up with Rocky. "We have so few friends, we don't want to lose the ones we have." He doesn't want to hear such things, either.

1052

Oh, these Boys, these Bad Boys ...

I had been at the beach park only a short time before Paulo came over to ask for a cigarette. As I had the day before, I just said "ashtrays, ashtrays." But he had obviously been at the glass pipe and probably didn't even remember the day before, and he was walking around with a bottle of Mickey's, not even in a bag. He wandered off. Awhile later I heard some shouting, looked up to see four people running toward the park from the mall. Paulo was in the lead, carrying something black. I thought he must have been caught shopping and was being pursued by security people, but then he threw the thing he was carrying and I could see it was a black leather bag. His pursuers stopped to collect the bag. The owner was an older Japanese man, no doubt a tourist. Paulo probably would have gotten away with it had not two military-looking young men joined in the chase. The Japanese man seemed to be persuading his helpers to forget about pursuing it and they went on their way, Paulo having kept going until he was out of sight.

For shame, for shame. I know, and I've said before, how it's very shakey moral territory but I just don't feel there's anything terrible about the lads stealing from stores, only worry about them getting caught. But stealing from people is something else altogether and I really don't like to see them doing it, whether from tourists or, as in the case of Okinawa, from laundromats.

Later I was making a final round through the mall. I guess Angelo took my advice. Or, more likely, he's running out of options and as with most of these lads, the worst thing is being alone. Whatever, he was back with Rocky. And they had just hit a department store. Even though they were already some distance from the store, Angelo was acting like a scared rabbit so my exchange with Rocky was brief. I told him I'd had a wonderful dream about him. "About my cock?" he asked. Rascal. "Yes, what else would I dream about?"

True, too. And a sweet dream it was. If the reality is as good as the dream, I'm an idiot for postponing it.

I was much surprised when continuing to re-read the Tales to realize I'd completely forgotten Taiwan, can't remember his real name or even what he looks like. I should so totally erase from my mind anyone who rips me off for twenty bucks, never mind what Cainer says for the coming week: You forget that the greatest mistake you can ever make is to give up on something - or someone - too soon.

Prairie Home Companion was a bore, a repeated show from 2001 featuring their "Talent from Under 2000" nonsense. Performers, all musicians in this case, from towns with a population of less than 2000. Only one of them was even slightly entertaining. Perhaps the Metropolitan Opera was doing the same thing earlier in the day, because they offered the worst performance of La Traviata I've ever heard. This time I didn't wait around to see if it improved, gave up after the first act. Audiences there tend to cheer their heads off for even the most mediocre performances, so when there wasn't a single brava after "Sempre libre", I figured I wasn't alone in finding it less than satisfactory. I can wait until later in the year when the Fleming/Houston Grand Opera version is broadcast.

Reading fortunately provided greater satisfaction than radio on Saturday. The Old Contemptibles is one of Martha Grimes' best. What a knack she has for creating delightful and memorable characters. Her regular cast members are always a pleasure to encounter again and in this one the supporting cast has an unusually large number of equally interesting and entertaining eccentrics. I'm only sorry I've now read almost all of her books.

Three more nights, this cycle's way of looking at the x equals time.

1053

Some stuff from other places on the Internet:

Date: Mon, 21 Oct 2002 10:03:27 -1000 (HST)
Subject: Re: an odd question

: You once told me that a reason that people get hooked on the glass pipe is
: that it is a cheap long high.

Comparatively cheap and very easily obtained.

: Can you give me some idea, from your contacts, how cheap and how long?

A twenty dollar bag provides about 10-12 "hits" (as much as the lungs will take in of the smoke at a time). It has recently become a little more expensive, since the bags are noticeably less generous than they used to be.

The peak of the high lasts about two hours but the overall effect goes on for much longer. Hard for me to say what the effect of just one bag would be because we almost always have a second one 2-3 hours later, and it's at least 7-8 hours before things return to "normal". Two pipes make for an all-night party, since there's no desire for sleep.

: How much do they get for their money? (a gram? an ounce? something
: smaller? something larger? does it fit in a teaspoon? is it smaller than
: that? larger than that? I have no clue.)

It's all eye-balled here, at least with these 20-dollar bags. AN OUNCE! Hah! I'd be a very rich man if I found an ounce bag of the stuff. I'm not sure what the supposed weight is, but it would probably fit in 1/16th of a teaspoon. (In other words, it packs a lot of punch in a very small amount.) It looks like salt in a tiny plastic ziplock bag, so you could probably think of it as a generous pinch of salt.

: I also recall that several people can stay high for days on whatever amount
: they purchase. How long can one person stay high on the amount they buy at
: a time?

That's variable because people have differing levels of resistance. Mine is very high, so it takes a lot more for me to get stoned on the stuff than it does some of my friends, one of the reasons they're so happy to have me along since I'm more apt to spring for yet one more bag.

One of them smokes a bag almost every day. I doubt he'll be alive for much longer if he keeps it up. The stuff is very hard on you physically ... and mentally.

-----

Date: Sat, 11 Jan 2003 08:17:17 -1000
Newsgroups: alt.california, alt.culture.hawaii, alt.rhode_island
Subject: Re: the planned invasion of Iraq will go ahead even if no weapons of mass destruction are found

: If you're not Jewish, it's unlikely you'd be interested in the Talmud and
: you probably don't read Hebrew anyway! ;-) KM

Nonsense. Any thinking person is likely to investigate all the "sacred books" whether a believer or not.

And the Talmud has certainly been translated into English.

-----

Date: Sun, 12 Jan 2003 09:09:28 -1000
Newsgroups: alt.culture.hawaii
Subject: Re: The Talmud


: It's about as hilarious as Albert the Panther claiming he's read the
: _Talmud_ - an English language translation, no less! KM

Tsk, tsk.

See http://www.sacred-texts.com/jud/index.htm#talmud

I re-read part of Book 7 yesterday, a section which might be of interest to some of the sex-obsessed folk who post here:

"Sandwiched in this very dry volume is one wild section of Haggada (at the end of Chapter V) which consists of some very tall tales about fish, alligators and nautical going-ons. Also, notably, this tract includes what has to be one of the first attempts to discuss where transgender people fit into the legal framework."

-----

Date: Mon, 13 Jan 2003 08:10:39 -1000
Newsgroups: alt.culture.hawaii
Subject: Re: The Talmud P.S. [Robert Fortune]

dogwood wrote:
: Well keify, your lies this week are really classic:
:
: 1.) the talmud is not translated into english

He meant to say that the English translations are "poor", not that they don't exist. Or at least that's what he seems to be claiming now.

Of course, he only had to check the online catalogue for UH-Manoa libraries to discover there are many English translations, some indeed by Jewish translators. No doubt they are all "poor".

Since KM is surely a scholar of ancient Hebrew, perhaps he should stop wasting his time posting crap here and maintaining his useless website and give the world a translation of the Talmud which isn't "poor"?

: 2.) a goy can't convert to a jew

Didn't Elizabeth Taylor convert when she married Todd?

-----

Date: Tue, 14 Jan 2003 14:38:48 -1000
Newsgroups: alt.culture.hawaii
Subject: Re: Judaism

KM got confused, yet again, and said:

: the resident expert on the Talmud

Errr, excuse me, YOU were the one who attempted to set yourself up as such, insisting that only a Jew would be interested in that ancient book of law and evidently ignoring the fact that at least large portions of it have been translated into English, or perhaps you were genuinely unaware of that.

All I did was point out that thinking people investigate all "sacred books" and that there certainly are English translations (of all of them, Jewish, Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, etc. etc.)

I made no claim to being an "expert" on ANY of them, nor would I ever do so.

Please calm yourself and stop trying so hard to prove you aren't, as a Jewish friend wrote in an email about this discussion, "in over his head".

-----

Date: Wed, 29 Jan 2003 12:48:24 -1000
Newsgroups: talk.religion.newage, alt.yoga, alt.theosophy, alt.metaphysics.a-a-bailey, alt.meditation
Subject: Re: Take a stand AGAINST WAR -

Mike Dubbeld wrote:

: The US nor the UK bomb civilians.

That easily qualifies as one of the most stupid statements I've ever read on Usenet, where there's no shortage of them.

Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Dresden???

Or if your imagination can't stretch that far back in history, ask the Vietnamese people if they'd agree with you.

-----

Date: Fri, 14 Feb 2003 09:02:59 -1000
Newsgroups: alt.culture.hawaii
Subject: Re: Honolulu Police Evict Albert "the homeless panther" Vanderburg From Residence

Kirk wrote:

: Illegal campers, homeless
: spur sweep of park
: Police evict people from
: Ala Moana Beach Park
: as the city cleans the facilities

Sorry, fellow, I haven't slept in Ala Moana Beach Park in over a year, not since the dumb new "anti-camping" bill was passed.

This story really stinks, though. What cleaners in the hours between midnight and four??? The crew that cleans the shower/toilet facilities don't start until between 6 and 8 each morning, the grounds people even later.

So the only reason to oust people between midnight and four is to harrass the homeless, despite their claims that it isn't the intent. Humbug.

The shelters are full. Where do they expect these people to go?

This seems to me the first wedge in eventually closing the park altogether between midnight and four, but I bet they won't bother the night fishermen.

-----

Date: Sat, 15 Feb 2003 08:22:38 -1000
Newsgroups: alt.culture.hawaii
Subject: Re: A Solution to the problem of feeding 'Homeless Peeple' in Hawaii?

Ah, Kirk, how fortunate for you that the homeless people exist. So good to have someone to feel superior to.

-----

Date: Sat, 15 Feb 2003 08:27:54 -1000
Newsgroups: alt.culture.hawaii
Subject: Re: Honolulu Police Evict [blah, blah, blah]

pat wrote:

: I think you're on to something. Could be two problems that are one
: another's solution! Get the homeless guys off the beach and into the
: bookmobiles. They could run and maintain them, and in return get to
: sleep in them.

Some truth in that sarcasm. :)

The authorities do need to do more about getting jobs for these people living in the parks and they certainly need to do something about getting them shelter. The trouble, of course, is that many of the park people are too "mentally disturbed" to hold down even the most menial job (if they wanted to).

The only available shelters are pretty horrendous but are full nevertheless and you have to be breeding children to get subsidized housing. Otherwise, there are precious few reasonably priced options for shelter in this town, even for those of us with guaranteed but limited monthly income.

-----

Date: Sat, 15 Feb 2003 13:54:07 -1000
Newsgroups: alt.culture.hawaii
Subject: Re: A Solution to the problem of feeding 'Homeless Peeple' in Hawaii?

Kirk jeered:

: Greetings! albert 'the swishy panther',

Ah yes, of course. The homeless and homosexuals. How fortunate you are, Kirk, to have so many reasons to feel superior.

Hope you're getting in your legitimate Social Security quarters so you'll be able to have that old age pension, as I do. Will give you yet another reason to feel superior.

I do feel just a little bit sorry for you, dear boy. But then that gives me a reason to feel superior, so thanks very much.

-----

Date: Sun, 23 Feb 2003 10:01:18 -1000
Newsgroups: soc.culture.hawaii
Subject: Re: Hawaiian activists, their clothing, etc.

Lana wondered:

: A friend and I were discussing Hawaiians who protest and/or who are
: active in the community.Why is it that some people criticize Hawaiian
: activitists? Is it wrong to express freedom of speech?

Oh goood grief, Lana! You're an expatriate Hawaiian sending SCH a lot of posts saying not much of anything. And the ones who have the guts to actually stay here and protest aren't saying much of anything either.

Plenty freedom of speech, here in SCH or on the grounds of the Palace.

What is needed is UNITY and speech that makes some sense, yes?

What do you want? How to do you plan to get it? Try to look at this entire question in a global sense and ask yourselves, aren't you better off being Americans than being the lackeys of some dubious restored "monarchy"?

Or is that not what you want? You don't tell us.

-----

Date: Tue, 25 Feb 2003 08:16:42 -1000
Newsgroups: soc.culture.hawaii
Subject: Re: Hawaiian activists, their clothing, etc.

Lana wrote:

: Are you TRYING to violate my freedom of speech by telling me NOT to post
: here?

You seem to have much in common with Haunani-Kay Trask who so often uses her "freedom of speech" to claim she's being denied it.

-----

Date: Tue, 25 Feb 2003 11:34:45 -1000
Newsgroups: soc.culture.hawaii
Subject: Re: Hawaiian activists, their clothing, etc.

Lana wrote:

: First of all, I dont agree with some of the things that Ms Trask has said
: and yes I have the freedom of speech. Dont violate it! However it is an
: honor to be compared to a proud American who is vocal about her civil rights
: so thank you for comparing me to a proud American.

I am not so sure Ms Trask would appreciate being called a "proud American".

: Secondly, dont be mad because Im not asking what haole people ask.

I'm not mad about anything. The post which began this exchange suggested that you "Hawaiian activists" (is that a fair description?) need unity, a common goal, an agreed upon strategy. Whining about what happened to your ancestors will accomplish nothing. Whining about stolen land, when if you weren't royalty you didn't have any land to begin with, that kind of stuff will go nowhere.

And that pretty much is where the "sovereignty movement" has gone in the fifteen years I've lived here. Nowhere.

-----

Date: Thu, 27 Feb 2003 14:16:56 -1000
Newsgroups: soc.culture.hawaii
Subject: Re: Waianae / Leeward: Dangerous 4 Haoles?

Alvin asked:

: Some people get so good at it that they can make a
: living. Do you think this is mainly the type of theives
: we have here???

I am convinced most thieving here is the result of crystal methamphetamine (aka ice or batu).

Too many of my favorite people are stealing, not because they want what they are bagging, but because they want to sell the stuff to fill that damned glass pipe.

And some of them are in OCCC or Halawa as a result.

The ones who aren't are stealing every day to get those little plastic baggies.

... and go check the Judiciary webpage to see if any of them got arrested yesterday ...

-----

Date: Mon, 10 Mar 2003 14:09:30 -1000
Newsgroups: soc.culture.hawaii
Subject: Re: Ice

RobeFortu1 wrote:

: I'm assuming significant amounts of these chemicals are required to make
: a profitable amount of meth.

Incorrect assumption.

: As I understand it, the Native Hawaiian community has a serious problem with
: meth. That can kill off the remaining Hawaiians faster than anything else they
: face.

The young people of these islands, whatever their ancestry, have a serious problem with the drug. I know some authorities disagree, but I think the government itself is largely to blame. If "pakololo" hadn't been made into such an expensive option, "batu" would never have achieved its current popularity.

I'm told most of the ice here comes from Mexico, via Vegas or California. The quantity per the usual $20 purchase is extraordinarily small, very easy to transport and no doubt much easier to operate a "lab" in Mexico than it would be here (although there are reportedly some local operations, too, especially on the Big Island).

Ice would certainly never be my "drug of choice", as it is with some of my young friends, but I understand its attraction and its major role as an equivalent to the Native American peace pipe, the sharing of a ritual, or as they said in the sixties, the "rotary connection". (Sorry about that, Rotarians.)

According to newspaper reports, the young man who killed a policeman last week was on PCP (aka "angel dust"), an even worse drug than crystal methamphetamine, one I surely hope doesn't become as commonplace here as ice.

The true casualties of the infamous, misguided "war on drugs" ... a "war" even more stupid than the one now hanging over our heads, as I see it.

-----

Date: Thu, 13 Mar 2003 13:17:54 -1000
Newsgroups: alt.culture.hawaii
Subject: Re: Anti-bush Politics

El Whappo mused:

: They claim that George W. Bush is a manipulative evil corporate genius who
: is abusing the american people for his own personal evil conspiracy in order
: to further the oil industry, yet in the same breath they claim that George
: W. is a bumbling idiot.

Megalomaniacs can often be both, with no problem. There was a fellow named Adolf once upon a time ....

[Note to readers of the Tales: this "El Whappo" is the Cherub's cousin.]

-----

Date: Fri, 14 Mar 2003 08:20:41 -1000
Newsgroups: alt.culture.hawaii
Subject: Re: Anti-bush Politics

El Whappo wrote:

: You can't say that George Bush and Adolf Hitler are alike and hold a
: straight face.

No, Hitler was a genius. A demented one, true, but a genius. No one will ever make that claim for The Bush.

-----

Date: Fri, 14 Mar 2003 13:04:36 -1000
Newsgroups: alt.culture.hawaii
Subject: Re: Anti-bush Politics

El Whappo claimed:

: Bush is trying to save the future of the free world from one leader whose
: own people want him gone. hmmmmmmmmmmm..

The future of the "free world" would be better served if one leader named Bush was gone, and I'll bet you more of his "own people" want him gone.

And never wanted him in the first place.

-----

Date: Sat, 15 Mar 2003 08:28:55 -1000
Newsgroups: alt.culture.hawaii
Subject: Re: Anti-bush Politics

: Bush is trying to save the future of the free world

Odd, isn't it, that the "free world" hasn't asked us to "save" them. Just the opposite. Not even countries with Saddam directly on their doorsteps are begging for our help, nor do they seem overly worried about him.

Dear Turkey, please accept this thirty billion dollar bribe and let us save you.

-----

Date: Sat, 15 Mar 2003 13:55:06 -1000
Newsgroups: alt.culture.hawaii
Subject: Re: Anti-bush Politics

Jerry Okamura asked:

: As for Turkey, let me suggest (as I have said before), why should
: Turkey not "try" to bleed this "turkey" dry?

Oh, they should. More power to them. Just a shame some of these Bush admirers don't ask whether, since the Federal government apparently has that much play money available, that thirty billion couldn't more wisely be spent right here in the USA.

According to all reports, many if not most of the States are in dire financial straits. Take the thirty billion and divide it among them. I'm sure Lingle would be much pleased.

(Not to mention the unknown other billions that would be spent on this absurd war.)

-----

Date: Sat, 15 Mar 2003 13:58:28 -1000
Newsgroups: soc.culture.hawaii
Subject: Re: 3 strikes law ( was Re: Waianae / Leeward: Dangerous 4 Haoles?

RobeFortu1 urged:

: "Smoke pot. Smoke pot. Everybody smoke pot!"

Nice idea, but at five bucks a (small) spliff, might just as well spend twenty on a bag of batu and get high for hours.

[I thought this one didn't make it past the SCH moderators, but it eventually did show up.]

-----

Date: Sat, 15 Mar 2003 14:44:27 -1000
Newsgroups: alt.culture.hawaii
Subject: Re: Anti-bush Politics

Jerry Okamura asked:

: I've got one for you, that I just thought of. Since the French, Germans,
: Russians, and other countries want to give peace a chance, how about if they
: funded the entire cost of keeping all of that military stationed around
: Iraq.

Because there's no need for that military?

Who is Saddam going to invade or attack? He won't hit Israel because he knows they'd kick his butt, UN or no UN. He won't make the mistake again of invading an Arab neighbor. Russia?! Extraordinarily unlikely, as would be Turkey.

Afghanistan? Who'd care? (We don't seem to anymore.) Not that there's anything there he'd want.

The cost of that military force is what it's costing Bush to continue to throw a smokescreen over the enormous domestic problems he is either ignoring or doesn't know how to handle. Let him and his admirers pay for it. Personally.

-----

Date: Sun, 16 Mar 2003 13:11:16 -1000 (HST)
Subject: Re: misc

: I really like the Japanese people: courteous, friendly and efficient.

I am sure that is true, on their home ground. Alas, it is often not the case here, especially when they travel in organized groups. I think if someone could get across that point to them, we'd see an immediate adjustment in the behavior of Japanese tourists in Hawaii.

: Feel a little bad for the Japanese man for being preyed upon by Paulo.

You aren't the only one. I'm afraid Paulo slipped a lot with that little episode, even if he was doped on the ice and drunk on beer. Especially saddening, because he's one who has always been totally honest with me.

But I do understand, and know from personal experience, just how distorting that "ice" can be.

: These bad boys steal from tourists and locals in laundromats, and prey
: upon benefactors such as yourself. I will not be surprise on the day I
: learn that, in an intoxicated or withdrawal-induced rage, they injure
: someone such as yourself.

This could, of course, happen. I've long thought the Sleeptalker might eventually kill me. I'd only feel regret because of him feeling guilty about it for as long as he lives.

1054

I went to Campus Center to watch the Ultimatum Speech on the big television screen there. About fifty people were gathered. At the end of the speech, two of them applauded. On my way there I found a keychain, a little American flag made of beads. I clipped it onto my bag. After the speech, I removed it.

1055

Spring has sprung, Aries is here. I hope it brings the SocSec check with it since once again it wasn't in the box on Third Wednesday. Third Wednesday has to be renamed Sometimes-Third Wednesday. To add insult to injury, the mail wasn't delivered until early afternoon, so I had to diddle around until about 1:30 to find out nothing was there.

Well, nothing financial, anyway. There was a welcome note from Felix along with a splendid photo of one of his cats in the snow, a cat-calendar photo if ever I saw one, and two photos of this lad who has captured his heart. Can't blame him at all, looks like a real sweetheart with incredible blue eyes. In his last letter, Felix was contemplating making some kind of overt move on the lad. I quickly responded, advising him to maintain the status quo, saying that even though it was indeed wonderful, crossing that physical boundary with the Sleeptalker, I know it wasn't wise and often wish I'd never done it. Felix thanked me for the advice, saying I had helped bolster his own determination not to yield to temptation. The perils of old men meeting sweet young flirts ...

(I wish I'd see that sweet young flirt of mine, it's been too long a time without him.)

Haven't seen any of them since that brief contact with Rocky and Angelo in the mall. Whenever I don't see Angelo for a few days, I start to wonder if he's in jail. If so, it's not anything serious since he's not on that judiciary page. No developments there with Tanioka's case, and undoubtedly won't be until the pre-trial conference on April 14th. And, Gott sei dank, no mention of the Sleeptalker. What a very odd way to track or try to track one's friends.

The army of snipe hunters and trashpickers at the mall has grown noticeably. Most of the old-timers are still at it, including the Mongoose, but there are a number of newcomers. One of them is a young Polynesian-looking man, quite attractive. He seems to stay constantly on the move between the park and the mall although I don't know why he bothers to walk so far into the park before returning to the mall search. The Airport Couple reconciled for about a week, alas. (Alas, because then I have to endure their inane conversation at the bus stop in the mornings.) But they split up, once again sitting at opposite ends of the bus, and the Younger Half has become more diligent as a snipes-hunter, often hitting the only remaining valuable ashtrays on campus as well as the mall. On Wednesday, he was with an older man who stays at the Black Hole and they were going through the mall grabbing butts from ashtrays even though Japanese tourists were, as usual, hanging around them while they smoked.

Turf Invaders. That's what I've started calling those ashtray tourists. There are the official Turf Invaders like security guards and cleaning people, the worst. Then a few early morning regulars at the mall who always sit on the same benches, usually right next to an ashtray, students on campus of course, and these endless Japanese tourists who can't walk and smoke at the same time. Turf Invaders.

(Such a silly feeling, walking around the mall looking at ashtrays when I know that damned check is pending.)

Fifty-two cents in foodstamps, less than that in coins. Deja vu.

I think I'll refrain from commenting on world events, except to light a candle for the "ordinary" people of Iraq.



1056

I wish I'd see that sweet young flirt of mine, it's been too long a time without him.

I wrote that on Wednesday and just before five o'clock Friday morning my wish was granted. As I was about to leave the Black Hole I looked down at the mat I was passing and there was the Sleeptalker, awake and smiling. He asked where I was going and I said since it was so early I thought I'd go to Waikiki and get some breakfast, invited him to join me. He said he had no money. My treat. "You're always treating me. I wonder why?" "Because I like you." (Talk about understatement.)

He has been living in his mother's house in Waianae again, had come into town for an appointment with the doctor. And he has been playing Seventh Circle, was much pleased he has been managing it without anyone guessing who his new characters are, including me.

In Chinatown, Angelo got on the bus! Dame Fortune and her cute timing tricks, again. Angelo had no doubt been smoking all night and already had another bag of pipe-filling. We decided to get off at 7-Eleven instead of going on to Waikiki and I treated them both to breakfast, the Sleeptalker making the bizarre choice of nachos with cheese and chili. Then we went into a dark alley to share a pipe. These guys surely do know every inch of their territory, especially places where it's possible to smoke that pipe.

Sex talk began almost immediately. The Sleeptalker asked if my twenty dollar offer for his body was still good. I told him it always was, at least when I had a twenty in my pocket. But when we got to the mall, he disappeared into the men's room and stayed there for hours! Angelo tried to get him out a few times, eventually gave up and told the Sleeptalker we were going to the park. When he still hadn't emerged as the time for the doctor approached, I went back in and told him "c'mon, it's doctor time." No luck. Incredible, how weird he gets on that drug.

Angelo fell asleep sitting at the table in the park, so I left a note to tell him I'd be in the park across from the 7-Eleven, walked down there, got a beer, and sat where I could see if the Sleeptalker arrived for his appointment. He didn't. I shrugged, told myself, well, you tried, and went to campus for a couple of hours. I had only been back in the beach park for a few minutes when the Sleeptalker arrived. He had earlier been very keen on going to campus and playing the game, but had lost interest in the idea so we just spent the rest of the afternoon sitting in the park, drinking beer. I must admit I don't have a very clear memory of what happened between his arrival in the park and when we eventually ended up in Paulo's nest, which he kindly let us have all night. The Sleeptalker earned his twenty in what was one of the sweetest, most tender times I've spent with him. (No, I didn't forget my advice to Felix, but having once crossed the line there's no reason not to do it again whenever the Sleeptalker wants it.)

And from my side, every reason to do it.

In the morning, the Sleeptalker just walked off without saying anything.

The combination of what may have been a dicey batch of ice plus the always stupid mistake of too much beer, not enough food, had me feeling truly wretched all day and I did little but collapse on my beach towel in the shade. Unprecedented on the Saturday after payday, I had only one bottle of beer and didn't finish that because it kept coming back up. Cigarettes seemed to make the nausea even worse so I smoked less than half a pack, and although I tried to eat some cheese and crackers, I only managed one before giving up. Definitely one of the worst aftermath experiences, possibly the worst.

I was still feeling pretty shakey on Sunday. Angelo came along as I was waiting for the bus to campus, once again tried to "borrow" twenty dollars, an effort he'd been pursuing too frequently (and continued to pursue all weekend). I refused, again and again. After the morning on campus in the secluded grove, I went online briefly and then returned to the beach park. Angelo was sitting at a table with someone I've not seen before, but I went over and sat on the grass instead. Of course, Angelo walked over, tried again to get money from me. Eventually he succeeded in making me feel sorry enough for him to give him five dollars for food, since the main line was how hungry he was. Instead, he went to the mall and returned with two bottles of beer, one for him and one for the fellow he'd said he hardly knew! He brought the guy over and they sat with me while drinking the beer. Very dull man, born here of Samoan parents, and I was feeling fairly irked with Angelo over his "money for food" ploy, so I soon left them and went to the mall, planning to relocate to the sunset end of the park. But after getting myself some food and another beer, I saw they had left the park so I returned to my spot, remembered just in time to turn on Michael Lasser's show. Songs about being "together".

Well, it is indeed once again re-confirmed, just who I want to be "together" with ... and it surely was sweet.

1057

I yield to a guest author for this Tale, the Sleeptalker:


What is love?
Is it stuck in the tree somewhere?
Or is it buried underground or under the grass?

Sometimes I think about love and all its beautiful ways,
like when you're at sea listening to crashing waves,
moving back and forth from sea to shore.
Looking at all the seashells that the current brought forth,
wondering in your own eyes what the Lord has brought forth.

I sit here wondering about life and all it has done,
wondering on the next time that I'll have some fun.
Its putten to me in a very clear way,
that one day I'll be back in the gutter far far away,
dusting myself off for a clear winter's day.
She has a hold on me holding myself,
one day to get up and look upon the shelf,
to find that there is nothing there to be taken of,
but a silly little screwdriver from the corner's air.
Making me laugh is such a friendly sight,
especially someone like yours is absolutely a sight!
Silly little comments make me laugh,
but one day I'll fly high in the sky to make my high,
becoming of what is layed there is of not on sight,
but what becomes of you in your dreams tonite.

Wake up! Why don't you just let me break up!


1058

Spring Break, so the campus is pleasantly uncrowded this week. Of course, it's also one of those times when on-line access is reduced, especially with the Kuhio Day holiday on Wednesday when everything was closed. And the libraries will be closed on the last weekend of March. More time to be a "news junkie"?

Americans are reportedly wallowing in news coverage and, yes, I've certainly spent much more time than usual listening to radio reports. During the first days of the war, one of the NPR stations provided the BBC Worldwide Service throughout the day rather than the usual evening broadcast and all the regular programming continues to focus on the war. On Wednesday I was beginning to think I'd gone paranoid, that bizarre kind of paranoia where one thinks one has control over something because coincidence or synchronicity is unusually active. I'd have some reaction to a news report and within minutes a commentator would say exactly what I had been thinking. One example was a report on the American complaints about "dirty tricks" being used by the Iraqis. My first reaction was, hey, that was the same kind of stuff we used against the Brits in the Revolutionary War. And yep, a commentator said just that moments later.

It was almost a relief to have Angelo show up on Wednesday afternoon, drag me away from the radio for awhile. He'd evidently had quite a successful shopping expedition since he had beer, cigarettes (costly premium ones, at that) and a tub of raw fish. Wasn't enough to satisfy him, though, and he eventually took off on another foray, returned about an hour later saying he had a "paper" and wanted me to join him with some friend who had a car. I declined.

Earlier he shared a very sad letter he'd gotten from the PL. "This is not the place for me," she said twice in it. I wonder if recognizing that will deter her in future from doing things that will, alas, make it the place for her. She urged Angelo to stay home (his mother's house, I assume) and wait for a phone call from her public defender. Neither I nor Angelo could figure out how that might in any way be useful to her defense (and even if it were, I doubt Angelo would make the sacrifice of sitting there in Waianae waiting for that phone call). I did encourage him to write to her. Prisoners can't have non-family visits during the first month but after that can create a list of authorized visitors, including friends. It will be interesting to see if he visits.

A most intriguing development at the Black Hole. I've noticed for some nights now a young newcomer, probably Filipino with some Asian mix, unusually cute by Black Hole standards. He picked a spot next to me on Monday night, then much surprised me by doing so again on Tuesday. During the night he reached over and grabbed my arm with both hands. I thought he might be having a dream, didn't do anything to push him away like I usually would with a "thrasher". Then he slid one arm down and held my hand. Eventually I reached over and rubbed his chest, pushing up his tee shirt, then undid his pants and did some gentle rubbing there, too. Sweet. But where we were sleeping was too bright to do anything else, even under his cover. After awhile he got up and went to the bathroom. When he returned he wrapped up in his cover and made no further contact, although I gave his head an affectionate pat when I left in the morning.

I asked Angelo what he thought I should do to arrange contact with the lad outside the Black Hole and his advice was to offer to buy beer. The fellow looks like he's too young to drink in a bar, but there's always the park. I'll let it simmer on Dame Fortune's cooker for awhile, see what happens. But I surely won't complain if he turns out to be a new Bad Boy.

The supermarket had cat food on sale for half-price so the kittens had a feast on Kuhio Day. Considering how small their usual daily allotment is, though, I'm wondering why Lady Grey seems to be getting fatter. And I have a sneaking suspicion I know why.

1059

When a guru is needed, a guru appears.

I've got that feeling. One is on the near horizon. No, it isn't (or at least I don't think it is) the new Bad Boy nominee at the Black Hole. I got my first really good look at him in brighter light and thought Angelo was wrong, it isn't beer I should offer as a lure, but the glass pipe. I'm pretty sure the lad had been at it. That would, of course, do much to explain the odd events during the night earlier in the week.

Of course, this has traditionally been the time of the year when a new guru can be expected. It is now thirty-one years since the Dutchman made his debut in my life and I remembered him, as always, fondly, on Friday in the secluded grove when I was looking at the drawings from last year (those which have not yet been placed on public view) and realized that of all the probably-lost artifacts of my life, I would most like to see the Nepal Notebooks and the Songs from a Birdcage, a folio of drawings I did with Egbert. I've no idea where they are, since I've long since forgotten what was left in England, or even if they still exist at all.

Collaboration. A shame more artists haven't actively explored the idea. Well, writers and musicians have done it for centuries and in the twentieth, Virgil Thomson and Gertrude Stein set the sterling example. But not too many visual artists have taken that path, at least not in directly working on one object. Picasso and Braque certainly collaborated in exploring the same territory, so to speak, but so far as I know, they didn't work together on one image. The Rauschenberg/Johns example which has already had too much attention in these Tales (and in my life) wasn't really a collaboration, but just combining one artist's image into another's.

Oh well, I really like Gon Fishin' and I will certainly scan Jesus Saves IIII, but I think the one solo four-panel work not yet made public will exit into oblivion. Such was the conclusion after looking at it again on the last Friday of March 2003.

And a very pleasant Friday it was, too, after a really dreary Thursday when it rained almost non-stop from early morning until sunset. It slowed enough for me to quickly leave some food for the cats before taking shelter to eat my own lunch. When I got to the mall, I went to the supermarket to get my sunset brew and saw Angelo. He was about to embark on his daily "shopping" expedition so I patted him on the shoulder and wished him well, told him I'd be at my rainy day bench. I didn't see him again, and hoped that didn't mean his foray was a disaster. I think he's the only daily-habitual criminal I've ever known.

That oh-so-familiar Aries mood has arrived.

Hello, old friend.

1060

An uneventful weekend, which is often the case. And I'm always reminded of how, when working as an office drone, I looked forward to weekends but now they're my least favorite days, or second to holidays, anyway. Thanks to weekend bus schedules, so much more time spent sitting at bus stops (not that I'm really in any hurry). Aside from a few exceptions, radio is less interesting on weekends. And once again, on this one, the broadcast from the Metropolitan Opera was far from satisfactory. If an opera company doesn't have access to a tenor who can do justice to the title role, they just shouldn't stage Gounod's Faust. The soprano was decent, though, and I felt sorry for her having to cope with her inept partner in the duets. I listened to all of act one and then switched off until near the ending. This time, again, the tenor, making his Met debut, hadn't "warmed-up" in the meantime. No style at all.

Prairie Home Companion was another repeat of a past broadcast. Are they doing this deliberately so they don't get in hot water for making their usual snide remarks about The Bush?

But Lasser's program was a treasure, the theme "taking a chance on love". I wondered immediately what version of the actual song he'd play. He saved it to the last and both surprised and delighted me by choosing the classic Ethel Waters rendition. Two amusing tracks by Eddie Cantor, although I wish he'd included "We Could Build a Little Home" which then dominated the Internal Jukebox for the rest of the evening. Next morning, though, Crosby's "Just One More Chance" was the earworm's selection, the song from the program which most closely fit my thoughts about the Sleeptalker. The entire collection of songs, of course, kept him much in mind.

The weather was very unsettled all weekend although it stayed dry for most of Saturday. By late afternoon the radio was making noises about the possibility of flash floods. The expected downpour fortunately didn't begin until I was already at the Black Hole, but judging by the size of the mini-lakes everywhere next morning, it must have been prolonged and heavy. I had to abandon the secluded grove in the late morning because of showers and also the beach park before sunset when there was once again heavy rain. As I say every year, I think, springtime in Hawaii sucks.

I was surprised not to see Angelo all weekend, relieved when I checked that judiciary page to find him missing. It's sad, but I'm sure it's only a matter of time until his name does show up there. He is so utterly convinced that he has some kind of special "radar", can tell when it's safe to pocket something and when it isn't. His few minor slip-ups did nothing to deflate his certainty in that sixth sense and he's scornful about the PL and Tanioka for not having it. If that's not a sure set-up for an eventual downfall ...

The new lad at the Black Hole has been given the name Tweaker, because he certainly seems to be one. He was sitting on his mat Friday night, lotus-fashion, and kept bending over, touching his head to the mat, looking very much an ice-smoker. Some man in his forties asked if the lad was okay, without getting a reply, but Tweaker eventually rolled up in his cover. He prefers to sleep in the smaller room and I don't try for it unless the main room is completely full, so I doubt we'll share many nights together. On Saturday and Sunday nights my companion was a rather fascinating looking young man with a Thai or Vietnamese name (I'd guess). He's a bit of a thrasher but, as usual, the young ones can get away with it. A very unsettled night on Sunday, especially since they had at one point to turn on one section of lights to cope with a leaking ceiling.

April begins with the New Moon in Aries, all astrologers talking about it being "a new beginning".

Okay.

1061

... as a friend of mine once put it, not many of the sixties people have "held up". Few went on to achieve the heights that those on the sidelines expected of them.

Marcia Muller, in Trophies and Dead Things, has that right.

Up/down, up/down ... the internal weather is even more changeable recently than the external version (although that has happily at least stayed dry since the weekend). I should probably stick the radio in my locker and leave it there since it is responsible for many of the dips in mood. NPR will help, though, because they've launched their annual "Spring Pledge Drive" and will become fairly unlistenable until the begging bowl is put away. They said there would be a special three-hour Prairie Home Companion this weekend. One hour will no doubt be spent begging for money. Fortunately, the used bookshop has another "four for a dollar" sale going so I'm stocking up on books to fill the time while NPR is making its pitch.

Usenet has been as grim as radio news. Maybe I should give it up for awhile, too. But then there seems no way around the fact that almost every contact with another person is affected by the war and it's a dance to find things to say in reply that are honest but avoid letting them know I think they're full of ......

With perverse timing, my appetite has been stronger than it has in a very long while. I suppose when the monthly foodstamps allowance arrives on the weekend, the appetite will equally perversely go back to its usual low simmer. In the meantime, I'm spending far more on food than usual but since there haven't been any icy expenses this cycle, it's not messing up the budget that much. Nor did a trip to the discount clothing store on Tuesday since I only found one tee shirt I liked. That at $1.99 and some boxer shorts for 99-cents (and with the Tuesday senior discount of 20%) definitely didn't break the bank. Since the library doesn't open until noon, Sunday morning is my favorite laundromat time, if that can ever be thought of as "favorite", but my last clean tee shirt wasn't clean enough to last that long, hence the shopping expedition.

Still no sign of Angelo. Joe Guam, happily, has walked past without stopping. So aside from brief exchanges with Paulo and Lord Moana it has been a solitary time, just me, a book, the cats and birds in the secluded grove at lunchtime, me, my radio and a beer in the late afternoon beach park.

1062

Zebra doves are such sweet birds. They get their name because the feathers on their neck look a bit like the markings on a zebra. As that website says, "This has got to be the strangest sounding dove we have ever heard. If you've ever heard the calls from the jungle and you heard this bird call, you'd swear he did all the sound effects for the show... ". Yes, very much a Lopaka Colon bird sound. Oddly, their challenge call (and dance) to scare off a competitor is almost identical to their invitation for .... errr .... reproductive encounters. I'm sure they understand the nuances, however. Another web page says: "Zebra Doves are the smallest of the terrestrial doves found in Singapore. They feed on grass seeds, preferring to forage on bare ground or short grass, scurrying about with rodent-like movement." Grass seeds??? Well, perhaps they do, if old Albert isn't in the secluded grove feeding them bread or crackers or rice. This site is selling them at a hundred dollars a pair. I am obviously missing my chance to become a tycoon, sitting in the secluded grove feeding the little sweeties without even thinking about capturing and selling them.

One of them came perilously close to death on Wednesday when Killer made his most successful effort yet. Feathers flew, but the poor dove escaped with its life. Lady Grey is more worrying. I am quite sure she is pregnant, very much so, and she's much too young to be a mama (no, I'm not superimposing my own personal life experience). And she didn't come to lunch on Thursday. Worrying.

Puzzling, more than worrying, is this young man who calls himself "El Whappo" on alt.culture.hawaii, the Cherub's cousin. He overreacts so absurdly, sent me a totally schizoid pair of emails on Thursday morning, one apologizing for his overreacting and the other telling me how much he hates me and demanding an apology. An apology for what, I asked him publicly. He said on the newsgroup that I only cared for his cousin, the Cherub, for his money and a place to sleep! Incredible. Let's see, it has now been about four years I've known the Cherub and as is recorded in the Tales, probably less than half a dozen, certainly less than ten, nights I spent in his various residences. And money? Sure, many times the Cherub treated for drinks. Just as many, I think, I had more money than he did and played host. I really don't think the Cherub would approve at all of his cousin's antics on Usenet.

Yes, I know, I know ... I really should abandon Usenet altogether. What great promise it had as a forum where all the people of the world could gather and discuss things, debate, share. Instead, it has for the most part become a soapbox for morons, bigots, and bored people with nothing better to do. There are some rare exceptions which I guess is why I continue even though I know it would be better to eliminate it from my life altogether.

Poor Groat is having a very slow climb from level 90 to level 91 in Seventh Circle since I've only been playing for less than half an hour each morning. Without the Sleeptalker, that game is really not as interesting.

Without the Sleeptalker, life is not as interesting.

1063

Angelo came to the beach park on Friday afternoon. He looked fine, even rather desirable, but was very tense and frazzled, had just completed a not-very-successful shopping foray. He'd already done one earlier in the day and had smoked a pipe. What a nasty hole of addiction he's fallen into, stealing, selling the stuff, hunting down pipe-filling, smoking it and then starting again. I'd surely miss him but have to wonder if at this point it wouldn't be better for him if he does get caught and goes to jail for awhile. There's certainly no chance of convincing him to voluntarily go into one of the free rehab places for a month or two break.

He spotted a supplier he knows so jumped up and went to talk to him, returned and said the guy would be back so he had to do some more shopping, wanted me to stay and smoke with him. If I keep declining, I suppose he'll eventually just give up on me, but I did anyway.

Considering that these guys usually only get about a quarter of the retail value of goods, Angelo is bagging several hundred dollars worth of stuff every day. And since he's obviously not the only one, the crystal meth "epidemic", as they're calling it, surely must be quite a drain on retail businesses.

I picked up the Fabled Pension Check on Thursday but didn't go to cash it until Friday morning, was much relieved when I returned to the secluded grove to see Lady Grey waiting for her lunch.

I do recommend the "quintessential review" of the Tales recently posted in the Usenet newsgroup, alt.culture.hawaii, by the cousin of the Cherub who calls himself "El Whappo". He writes:

With controversial topics such as drugs, homelessness and homosexuality and what should be interesting characters you would expect a rather interesting read. Unfortunately Albert fails to pull this off because of his poor method of writing. This consistently monotonous tone and bland stream of consciousness method actually cause the (what should be) rather interesting content to become as boring as if it were spoken by Charles Grodin himself.

I confess I had no idea who Charles Grodin is, so went to google and had a look. Ah, a television commentator. Poor fellow, as boring as I?! Does that mean I can get a job at CBS-TV?

1064

James Levine's often eccentric interpretations work better with Verdi than Mozart and he conducted a thoroughly enjoyable performance of Nabucco from the Met on Saturday afternoon. I wished I had remained on campus to listen since it was interrupted a couple of times by Paulo and then by Pedro, both of them seeking a listener. Oh well, people are more important than art (although I admit to being somewhat puzzled by this father confessor/psychiatrist role I seem to have acquired).

A sad looking fellow had asked me for a cigarette in the mall. I refused. A little later he asked me again in the park. Same response. He stood there for a moment looking quite annoyed with me. One of Pedro's complaints was about the increase in tobacco beggars and the baffling way some of them are so insistent, even get angry when refused. He'd had such an encounter earlier, said the guy kept pointing to Pedro's pocket saying "I know you have some." Having some and being willing to give them to strangers is, of course, not at all the same thing. Pedro and I agreed the time has come to say no to all strangers. (Well, I know in my case there could be exceptions, especially on campus.)

Pedro has thus far had no difficulty from the cops for sleeping in the park, although I've heard that some people have been given tickets (even up to a sixty dollar fine for repeat "offenders"). It's pathetic to think our law enforcement people have nothing better to do than hassle a man who has spent four years as an honest and hardworking dishwasher, lives homeless in order to send more money to his wife and two children in the Philippines. Beyond pathetic. Both lawmakers and law-enforcers should be ashamed.

Not wanting a repeat of radio-listening interruptions on Sunday, I lingered on campus to hear Michael Lasser's show. Just before it started there were a few, but very large, warning drops from the sky. I fled the secluded grove for shelter and for the next hour it truly was a torrential downpour. Fortunately, reception was good in my sheltered spot (the weaker NPR station is often difficult to get and reception can vary greatly within a small area). The show was songs about listening, not one of Lasser's more interesting assemblies and interrupted three times by the begging bowl routine, but still a pleasure. I especially enjoyed listening again to Jolson's "You Ain't Heard Nothin' Yet", which closed the show.

When I first went to New York City I was quite scornful of Felix's love for old films, especially from the thirties, couldn't understand why he didn't put more emphasis on seeing what was new. That surely is one attitude of my youth which underwent radical transformation and I definitely prefer hearing the tracks from the twenties and thirties on Lasser's show more than any current releases.

There's a new fellow in the beach park. I think I'll call him Gap. He's probably in his late twenties, has long straight hair and skin a beautiful shade of brown, is missing one of his upper front teeth. He stopped by one day recently with Paulo and was so enthusiastically friendly it was quite touching. Late Sunday afternoon he rolled up on his bicycle on his own, shook my hand vigorously and stood talking for awhile, mostly about dope. He was delightfully funny in talking about all the palaver we go through with the glass pipe, contrasting it to the simplicity of rolling a joint and smoking it, but said he still likes the "ritual" of the pipe. I wouldn't mind sharing one with him, I have to admit. As he was leaving, he asked, "why do we do it?" "Because we're all crazy," I said.

Ain't it the truth.

1065

The Sleeptalker appeared in the game on Tuesday morning, said he was in town for a job interview somewhere near campus. He asked about the others. No news of Tanioka or Okinawa, of course, but I told him I'd seen Angelo last week. I was a little surprised the Sleeptalker didn't show up again later, either on campus or the beach park, but I guess he was making it a business-only trip. It would be most welcome if his interview was a success even though history suggests it wouldn't last long even if he gets the job.

Poor Cheyne is looking for a job, too, and I shuddered slightly when reading the account of his most recent interview. I experienced so few of those things during my working life, almost always fell into a job after having worked at it as a temp. I suppose I must have gone through one for that first full-time job after the Army, at Hartford Fire Insurance Co. in Atlanta, but have no memory of it. Also for the United Nations, but that was mostly tests of typing speed, spelling and proofreading abilities.

It was so much easier just to sign on with a temp agency and during that lengthiest stay in New York City, from 1977 to 1985, I stayed with the same agency throughout even though I did sign on for so-called permanent jobs with Touche LaRoche, later with the advertising agency, Young & Rubicam. The Touche job didn't last long because I almost immediately got into trouble by discussing salary details with another temp there and, worse, getting caught at it instead of having the sense to hold the conversation outside the office (or to keep my mouth shut). But I stayed at Young & Rubicam for over a year, mainly because the job was just so silly it was entertaining. It was also the first time I worked with the IBM Displaywriter, still one of the best wordprocessing programs I know, and that made bearable what would have been pretty awful in the days of typewriters. Every one of those advertising campaigns was gone over and over and over again, constantly revised.

I think of that gawdawful personnel woman at Touche every time I hear a sponsorship note on NPR and smile at the fact they are now Deloitte & Touche when at the time I worked with them Deloitte was their main competitor. Same thing happened with Johnson & Higgins, the insurance broker I worked for here although they fared even worse than Touche since they were swallowed by their main competitor, Marsh McLennan, and after a year of a double-barreled name, J&H vanished altogether. Let us pause to give thanks to ERISA which forces their swallower to continue the Fabled Pension Check.

A most welcome surprise on Tuesday when I turned on the radio and discovered the "pledge drive" was over. Nice to settle into listening without having to take off the headphones every fifteen minutes while they begged for money, even if most of the listening continues to be pretty gruesome stuff. I am beginning to more and more enjoy Arianna Huffington on Left, Right and Center (even if the "rights" on that show drive me up the wall).

So much more pleasant at the Black Hole during the days after welfare distribution, but I suppose it won't last much longer. The Fatman has disappeared (I think on one of his mainland visits) so the Younger Half is walking around talking to himself, even in the Black Hole. Tweaker gave me a sweet smile when we arrived at the same time on Monday but he won't give up sleeping in the smaller area which is probably just as well. Such a nightly gamble there, who turns up as sleeping companions. On Monday night I was in between two young men I'd not seen before, both quite handsome, but on Tuesday there was an interesting young man on one side and a horrible older one on the other, the type who makes twice as much noise as necessary when having a coughing fit (which he did about every two hours). The wheel of fortune, goes spinning around ....

Groat finally made it to level 91 on Tuesday. And x equals 6.

1066

Most recent searches:

1. ice follies 6
2. job 3
3. trouble understanding 3
4. lady 2
5. student 2
6. michael 2
7. kauai 2
8. classes 2
9. panther habits 2
10. most recent tales 2
11. firecracker 2
12. one dictionary definition 2
13. christina 2
14. moreso 2
15. shaka sign 1
16. thanksgiving 1
17. savatar 1
18. sizzlers 1
19. baldacci 1
20. snowwhite

Most recent searches without results [they found a result for "snowwhite"???]:

1. firecracker 2
2. ekimus 1
3. pl 1
4. housewife 1
5. savatar 1
6. second-hand 1
7. wheelchair 1
8. sizzlers 1
9. dudoit 1
10. easterman 1
11. troia 1
12. 953 1
13. sizzler 1
14. andvari 1
15. shurwood 1
16. angelos

Some of those "no results" are MUD-related, a former immortal on Seventh Circle (Savatar, Ekimus) looking to see if I'd mentioned him. I hadn't. A couple of other searches there are also MUD-related. And, of course, I went to see myself what this "snowwhite" thing is. Turns out to be from one of the "Readers Write" collections. As for "firecracker" appearing on both lists, I'm not researching it, nor can I imagine why anyone would search the Tales for "firecracker" to begin with.

Since "ice follies" has the top-ranking position in searching, let me share with you my own research on the subject:

674 - Sleeptalker, Angelo, Tanioka
696 - Sleeptalker, Angelo, Tanioka, the Cherub
760 - Angelo, Tanioka, Little Brother
781 - Angelo, Rocky [disaster]
785 - solo
786 - Tanioka
788a - Lady Moana
859 - Angelo, Chico
901 - Angelo, Okinawa
904 - Angelo, Okinawa, Tanioka
909 - Angelo, Okinawa
916 - Tanioka, Angelo, but mostly alone with Okinawa [3 days]
926 - Angelo, Okinawa [CD theft]
976 - Angelo, Mondo
988 - Angelo
991 - Tanioka, Angelo
999 - Tanioka, Taiwan
1003 - Tanioka, Angelo
1013 - Tanioka, Sleeptalker
1023 - Tanioka, Angelo
1024 - Tanioka, Angelo
1025 - Tanioka
1030 - Tanioka [hotel], later with Angelo, Sleeptalker
1031 - Tanioka, Sleeptalker
1035 - Tanioka, Angelo
1056 - Angelo, Sleeptalker

No doubt, to be continued ...

1067

"What are you doing just standing around in []," I asked the Sleeptalker, "[]" referring to the main town square in Seventh Circle. "I don't know," he said and, after a pause, added, "I need a mage." "Well, you won't get one standing around here." But then he went on to say he didn't know whether he should level a mage he already has or create a new one. It is puzzling how he constantly creates new characters, never gets any of them to a very high level since his energy and playing time is so unconcentrated. Even more bizarre how he ends up killing them off once they make a certain amount of progress. Oh well, whatever, it's good to have him back in the game again.

No details of what he's doing in so-called "real" life, but I wonder if he may have gotten the job and is playing during his lunch break since he's appeared only at mid-day and has disappeared after a bit less than an hour.

For the first time since the war began, the beach park conversation on Thursday wasn't about it but about the three maximum security prisoners who managed to escape from the Halawa State Prison and were caught after a six-day manhunt. They seem to have been far more clever in getting out of the place than in figuring out a method to stay free. Naturally, most of the beach park regulars had been rooting for them.

I finished E.M. Forster's A Room With a View during lunch in the secluded grove. Such an elegant writer, that man, a shame he wasn't more prolific. I do want to find the two early novels, which I'm not sure I've read before, and of course, A Passage to India. The timing would be appropriate since I'm re-reading the India Notebooks. Thirty years ago, now. Doesn't seem that long and the Notebooks evoke very fresh and strong memories.

The budget doesn't permit visits to the used bookshop so I went to the State Library where the freebie collection wasn't very interesting and the books I wouldn't mind officially borrowing are all such big, heavy hardcover editions. If only they (or Hamilton) had a smoking area, I'd spend a lot more time sitting in libraries and reading. Instead, I took a couple of time-spinners, one of which is more amusing than it would otherwise be because much of it refers to this island. Perri O'Shaughnessy's Writ of Execution.

And this island is one which very rarely experiences thunder. One night during the early days of the war I was awakened by a tremendous noise sounding like a fleet of airplanes breaking the sound barrier or a building collapsing. It didn't even occur to me to consider thunder, but like some of the others discussing it on Hawaii Stories, it surely did bring Baghdad to mind. A repeat performance on Thursday evening at sunset time drove me from the beach park and I went to my rainy day bench and enjoyed the dazzling show of lightning.

Maybe the dramatic weather had people on edge because there were more squabbles than usual during the night at the Black Hole, one of them so fierce that security escorted a participant out of the place even though it had stopped short of an actual fight. The weather also no doubt contributed to the place returning to its usual packed state, although dwindling welfare money is probably the main cause.

Even though it's one of those sites which say "no U.S. access", there's absolutely nothing stopping us from looking at J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan, the play. And it is a delight, as are the introductory sections, the first of which begins, "Some disquieting confessions must be made in printing at last the play of Peter Pan; among them this, that I have no recollection of having written it."

The last day of my 63rd year. What a long, strange trip it's been.

1068

I spent most of Birthday 2003 on campus, compiled a collection of excerpts from the past, birthday tales. This year's update won't add much of interest. Since it was also Gabriella the Druid's birthday I let her play in Seventh Circle for much longer than usual, even went up one level. No sign of the Sleeptalker, alas. I was going to ask him if he'd brought my birthday present. The set-up this year is the same as it was the year he gave me my most memorable present: birthday followed a few days later by a Full Moon. No complaints if it brings the same results but just in case it doesn't, the Dream Machine supplied a wonderfully realistic and erotic encounter on Sunday night, one of the best dreams I've ever had about that man.

No party on the day, has to be postponed until Third Wednesday (or whatever day turns out to be the Magic one), but Helen R kindly treated me to a birthday lunch on Sunday at LikeLike Drive-In. That's said leekee-leekee, which I guess is almost as funny as lyke-lyke. As is often the case, I opted for their hot roast beef sandwich accompanied by mashed potatoes, smothered in brown gravy. No booze there, so it had to be washed down with iced tea which they constantly refill. I was stuffed. Helen has an enormous appetite, though, and must have eaten twice what I did since she ordered a sizzling steak dinner with all the extras including "fruit cocktail" (straight from the can). Reminded me of childhood since that was number one on my mother's list of "healthy" things to eat. That fruit is so processed, I wonder if it has much nutritional value left?

Yummy lunch, though, even without fruit cocktail on my side and no room for more than one beer which I nursed through about five hours in the beach park. I usually view the craft fairs they have there as a nuisance since they occupy the entire area at the Moanas end (and Lord and Lady M vanished for the event, as usual). But I sat on my beachtowel in the shade, off to one side, and watched the crowd in between reading. One booth was manned by a delightfully alluring young fellow. He noticed my attention and like so many local lads reacted by striking poses, now and then pulling up his tee shirt to show his flat, brown belly. Sweet. In the late afternoon two other young men arrived to help pack up the stuff (which not one person had bought during my hours there) and when finished, the object of my affection walked past me to a portable toilet nearby, then emerged, took off his tee shirt and walked by again even closer. Yes, very sweet. If he's going to be a regular at these events, I definitely look forward to the next craft fair in the park.

I didn't much feel like listening to Parsifal so skipped the opera on Saturday afternoon but Prairie Home Companion was an especially good one, made me laugh aloud several times. And Michael Lasser's show on Sunday contained more corny songs than I think I've ever heard in the space of an hour, songs about the "Old South". Some cringing stuff, of course, like "keep the darkies singing." Reminded me of the time in London I went with Vicente Arroyo and James Baldwin to see a couple of thirties films. One of them had a scene with a chorus of little "pickaninnies" singing some Swanee song. Baldwin slumped down in his seat a little and said, "oh shit." Jolson, of course, played a major role in Lasser's show. I hadn't known entertainers like him (and Sophie Tucker, in early days) were referred to as "coon shouters". I know they're really Jolson's songs, but a couple of times I wished Lasser had played the Judy Garland version as well. I also wish he'd rely totally on vintage recordings for material of this kind instead of slipping in some contemporary covers. A most enjoyable program, nonetheless.

Weekends do provide a nice respite from the Mon-Fri news programming, especially at this time when it seems to be a case of give us this day our daily grumble and growl at Syria.

1069

Bought Indian cigarettes (too expensive -- three different brands 4-1/2, 5, 6-1/2 rupees)
said I, thirty years ago. HA! At the time, about seven rupees equalled one dollar.

One of the long-time local players in Seventh Circle showed up in the game on Monday afternoon after a lengthy absence. I've heard a lot about him from the Sleeptalker but have never met him. I was playing Gabriella, so he didn't know it was me, and he said some funny things about me and the Sleeptalker (although I doubt the Sleeptalker would find it that amusing, nor would he have liked being called "gay" even as a joke ... if it was). Not long afterwards, the Sleeptalker himself appeared, playing from a friend's house in Waianae. So much for the job theory, and he didn't say anything about it.

I'd had a most enjoyable lunch in the secluded grove, was delighted to see that Lady Grey's appetite has improved since she's eaten so little in recent days. And it was a pleasure to have her sit for a time on the wall looking down at the birds because recently she's just quickly eaten a little and returned to her spot under the eaves of the post office. I still wonder if she actually had kittens or lost them, but it was a relief to see her closer to her normal behavior in any case.

So in the late afternoon I went to the beach park, picking up a sunset bottle of Steel Reserve on the way. Paulo came over to try and sell me a "paper". I reminded him payday still hadn't arrived. Lady Moana came by to beg a cigarette. I reminded her of the same fact.

I was listening to the radio, and what to my wondering eyes should appear, but .... TANIOKA!

He looks great, has lost some weight, is abstaining from tobacco and alcohol. His clever lawyer (or at least that's the way I saw it, although he wasn't too enthusiastic about the idea) managed to get him out of jail on a "supervised release". A job, keep your life clean, etc. etc. Oh, it was lovely to see him, it really was. He didn't stay long, was itching to get to the movies which he said was what he had missed the most. But I thank the kindly gods or Dame Fortune or karma or whatever was responsible for his early freedom.

The Sleeptalker came into the game on Tuesday morning and I told him about Tanioka but the Sleeptalker was in one of his snotty moods and made no reply, said nothing to anyone except for one cryptic complaint about where he's living.

Thanks to Lasser, the earworm has been stuck on "nothing could be finer than to be in Carolina ..." Totally ignores me when I say, "oh shut up!"

1070

The Europeans, especially the French and Italians, have in the past made quite beautiful paper money, little works of art. Alas, now that they have become the "United States of Europe" they have adopted a common currency. And "common" is certainly the word to describe the "Euro". Utterly ugly and undistinguished. I nevertheless loved it dearly on Magic Third Wednesday which once again wasn't in the least bit magic. I had less than a dollar in my pocket. Okay, I'd already had a "Steel Reserve" at lunchtime, so it wouldn't have been a beer-free day, but even so, I was hoping for a sunset one, too, greedy person that I am. (And I bitch at the zebra doves in the secluded grove for being so greedy.)

Certainly no hope from the Social Security Administration on non-Magic Third Wednesday. Are they trying to blackmail me into getting a bank account and direct deposit? Most fortunately, birthday melons from heaven were in the box. There was also a letter from Felix who [gasp] was taking the apple of his eye on a four-day trip to Manhattan. Heaven help them both.

The automatic exchange machine at the mall swallowed my ugly Euros and gave me green money and some coins in exchange. Including two JFK half-dollars! I haven't seen those in years, gave one of them to McD's on Saturday morning for my senior coffee. The young lady examined it in puzzlement, undoubtedly had never seen one before.

Handsome coin, that JFK half-dollar.

As was the man.

The Internal Jukebox went totally INSANE on Maundy Thursday, insisted upon playing "Adeste Fideles" (yes, in Latin) all day. Okay, okay, right religion, wrong holiday. I tried to lure it over to "in your Easter bonnet ...", even "he arose, he arose ..." without success. Then just to show how utterly whacko it is, the next morning it went back to one of its more usual selections, the waltz from Rodgers & Hammerstein's "Carousel". Please, lords of karma, spare me from this affliction next life.

I took Helen R on Good Friday to see "Bulletproof Monk" (about time I treated her to a movie instead of the other way around). As I wrote elsewhere, quite entertaining even if it was absolute nonsense. Afterwards Helen treated me to a proper Catholic Good Friday luncheon of fish-and-chips. A "limited time only" offering for Jack-in-the-Box which is quite wise to limit the time they are offering it..

1071

Oh what weird friends I have. I was sitting in the beach park listening to a rather dull Prairie Home Companion on Saturday when Lady Moana walked over, sat down, as always asked for a cigarette. She had obviously been at the glass pipe and was taking hefty swigs from a bottle of Mickey's. She said she'd caught Lord M and Crazy Annie in the act. Lord M must have been very stoned or drunk if he was able to go for Annie (or, more likely, let her go for him). Then Lady Moana came up with a no-doubt-ice-inspired plan. She'd sell me Lord M's body for the price of pipe-filling and wanted to watch! What's up with these menage-voyeur scenarios?

I escaped to the Black Hole.

Not much time spent with the radio on the weekend. The final offering of the season from the Met was Rake's Progress which I didn't want to hear, PHC was mostly about the centennial of the Minnesota Symphony (I heard more of it during the Sunday evening repeat than I'd heard before being interrupted by Lady M), and for the first time ever I turned off Lasser about three-quarters of the way through. Howard Dietz & Arthur Schwartz wrote some fine songs but there were just too many pseudo-jazz interpretations in Lasser's selection. I should have kept my CD player out of the locker after the usual Third Saturday clear-out.

I think I'll have to stop feeding the birds in the secluded grove for awhile. There has been such a jump in population and they're so incredibly greedy, have even taken to eating the cats' food. But Lady Grey has returned to her anorexic appetite and Killer didn't even show up for lunch on Easter, so if they aren't interested in protecting their food from the greedy birds, so be it. But I'll skip handing out crackers or bread for a time and see what happens.

I had to skip the secluded grove entirely for most of the time I spent on campus Easter Sunday. Rain, rain, rain. It did stop by early afternoon but began again at sunset time. It's commonly said that November is the "rainy season" here, but I think April deserves the title, certainly has earned it this year.

It wasn't an especially memorable Aries. Maybe this will spice things up, though:

Venus in Aries
Monday, April 21, 9:18 am PDT

The love planet moving into the warrior sign spurs new interests for play, pleasure and relationships. Self-interest doesn't have to turn into selfishness. It's simply about starting with what makes you happy, rather than failing to listen to your heart's desires.


What? Me fail to listen to my heart's desires? Ignoring those would be even harder than turning off that damned Internal Jukebox (which was stuck on "Lady Be Good" Monday morning).

1072

So Venus moved into Aries and the Sleeptalker came to the beach park. He looked a bit ragged and was wearing an unusually mismatched pair of shorts and tee shirt. He was so blatantly in his "looking for something better" mode I don't quite see why he bothered to cross the road and talk to me. He asked where Tanioka was and I said I assumed he was at work. "I lost my job," he said, giving no details. I was surprised he made no mention of Angelo but then I wouldn't have had any news to give him anyway. Maybe I was correct in my assumption that Angelo would eventually just give up on me. There was a little talk about the game and then the Sleeptalker walked off after refusing the offer of a cigarette. "I don't want one of those cheap cigarettes." Silly brat. Still, it was good to see him, as always, even if the overall effect of the encounter was mood-dampening, to say the least.

As was the news a few minutes later that Nina Simone died in France at the age of seventy.

The tiresome weather did nothing for my mood, either. At least I did get to feed the cats. They both were waiting, Lady Grey with improved appetite. But then the rain started yet again so I had to dash for a sheltered spot. It lightly drizzled several times during the afternoon, too, but I just said to hell with it and remained in the park.

Thirty years ago: Easter Sunday. And another Ringo, CP, juice bar day with Floyd, Procol Harum, etc. Hank and Henri leaving Tuesday for Afghanistan -- dealer and Aussi off to Nepal tonight. End of the Delhi season?

Wish I were there now.

1073

How is Tanioka doing ? Have "they" found him a job or does he have to find one himself ? asked a reader.

I've only seen Tanioka that one time since he was released from prison and he gave no details. But Angelo and I were talking about it on Wednesday evening and agreed it was most likely his family who offered a job as part of securing his release. Tanioka's family is very successful here, his uncles have varied businesses which do well. And they might have supplied the job to help him. All speculation, of course. If Tanioka wants to stay free from tobacco, alcohol and crystal meth, he can hardly hang out with us, and I suspect he will only come into town when he wants to see a film which isn't showing in the suburbs. As I told Angelo, I'm very happy for Tanioka but will surely miss him as a playmate.

No, Angelo hasn't given up on me. I was a bit confused at first on Wednesday, though, because I was quite sure it was Angelo crossing over the boulevard from the mall to the beach park. But then he disappeared for some time. Evidently he had sat down at the bus stop where my view was obscured by a large tree. He told me later he hadn't been angry, just sat to think for awhile. "I may have to go away," he said. "To where?" "To a rehab center or to jail or to die," he said.

A rehab center would undoubtedly be the most pleasant option but I really doubt he has the will power to stay in one for a sufficiently long period of time to beat his ice addiction. Jail is going to be the option eventually if he continues his present crime wave. I don't even want to think about the third option.

So after his time of pondering, he walked over and the postponed Birthday Follies began.

Angelo is one of the sweetest young men I've ever had the privilege and honor to meet and when he's in top "sweet form", he's just unbeatable. And he was. Never before has the piper played so well.

We made a rather astonishing discovery. There's a small office building not far from The Garage. The parking lot is chained-off, so no danger of someone unexpectedly pulling into it. There's a dark outside area safe for lighting up the pipe and at the end of it was a door. Angelo opened it. A shower room! Quite spacious shower, too, with a drying space. We took turns having lovely hot showers (although watching him have his was much lovelier than the shower itself). It was a delight to have a puff on the glass pipe while immersed in flowing hot water.

In the early hours of the morning, he said "I love you as a friend." Then he asked, "did you hear what I said?" and I repeated it to him.

"I love you as a friend, too," I replied.

Happy birthday, 2003. And thank you very, very much indeed, Angelo.

The next morning he got rather frustrated with me because he had all kinds of ideas about what to do and how to continue the party. The stamina of youth. One of the main proposals was to go to the Korean fellow who lives where Mondo was living. WAS. Because Mondo is now living with the UH professor who was housing (etc.) Rocky! That professor and I surely do have the same taste in men, except for Angelo. Angelo said he doesn't like the professor and the professor doesn't like him. The professor's loss.

1074

It was in one of the Tales of the Past where I mentioned maintained by people who had entered this country via Ellis Island in the era when the Statue of Liberty didn't lie and really meant "give us your tired, your poor ...".

It had come to mind because of the "hacienda". Since that treasured refuge is permanently closed to the tired and the poor, I can openly admit that it is the Honolulu headquarters of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization agency, a wonderfully occult architectural design which is many times mentioned in the Tales. And what a lasting gift it has given me.

Rocky, the Sleeptalker, Tanioka, Okinawa, Plato, Angelo ...

Tanioka came to the beach park on Saturday evening at sunset time. I, without any reluctance, put away the radio and Prairie Home Companion to talk with him while he ate a plate-lunch box he'd bought (plate-dinner box?), declined his invitation to join in since I'd already had a vegetarian meal of fried "wedge" potatoes and corn-on-the-cob. Speculation was correct, he is working for one of the family enterprises. He only works three days a week, said he is making less money than he'd make from welfare, not an unusual situation in this sometimes crazy country. At least it has him out of jail although he is experiencing a little nostalgia for prison life, a feeling I understand completely since I felt it myself.

The sweeter the dance, it seems, the higher the price the piper demands. I felt absolutely awful on the day after that wonderful night with Angelo, only slightly better the next day, and then sank into depression on the third day after, so it was more than welcome to have an interesting and intimate conversation with Tanioka. He said he really enjoyed our own last party together, as did I. And he talked about his past, about things he's done which he feels guilty about. I will not give any details, but I have no problem seeing how it is he feels guilty. I suppose we all have such moments in our lives, especially when we were young and stupid. Or even when we're old and stupid.

I gave him a hug when he left and urged him to take care of himself.

Yes, I have more than ample reason to be grateful for the "hacienda".

1075

A French reader wrote: Plate-lunch boxes, according to my touristic guidebook, are an Hawaiian speciality. It isn't even translated in the French guidebook I have.

I certainly never saw one before I came here, although it does seem strange that someone is manufacturing those containers just for these islands. We are talking about a white hinged box, made of some synthetic material, polystyrene-like if not actually that substance. There is the standard version, the bottom half separated into three compartments. The larger spans the width of the box, with two smaller compartments behind it. The "mini" version is just one compartment. A classic plate-lunch box always incudes rice, sometimes with a choice between plain white rice and fried rice which has a minute amount of vegetables mixed with it (peas and carrots, more often than not). And a scoop of macaroni salad, which in the island style is bland, boring and almost tasteless. So one might get the larger compartment filled with beef stew, rice and macaroni salad in the two smaller ones. At the mall's "Food Court", however, much more varied options are available to fill those white boxes. Pseudo-Cajun, pseudo-Chinese, pseudo-Mexican, etc. etc. At the Chinese places one can even choose noodles instead of rice.

How I wish mashed potatoes had become the standard here instead of white rice. And I remain puzzled over how macaroni salad became such standard fare.

Sometimes the larger boxes are also just one compartment, as was the one I found in the mall on Monday afternoon, more than half full of Spaghetti Bolognese from Mamma Mia's. Same complaint as always about the pasta not having been cooked long enough, but no complaints about the price. And with Third Wednesday not arriving until the 21st I'll no doubt be spending more time with those found white boxes since that's definitely a more welcome option than going to the Black Hole for food.

After the exotic, erotic excitement of a Follies life seems too dull and boring. The Internal Jukebox got stuck on "I guess I'll have to change my plan" throughout the weekend. Got to make one before I can change it, though.

1075a

A reader wrote: I hate to disillusion your French reader, but "plate lunch boxes" as you so precisely described them are not indigenous to Hawaii - perhaps to the United States, but definitely not just Hawaii. I was grateful for the description of the container because I had no inkling about what a "plate lunch box" was - even though I have eaten out of one on many occasions. Then, I tried to decide what I would call it, and I realized it was something that I had never even thought about. Going forward, I will always think of them as plate lunch boxes.

So perhaps it is just the definition of those containers which is unique to the islands. A search on Google for "plate lunch box" produces very few references, more from the Tales than from anywhere else.

The last day of April 2003 which seemed like a very long month to me. Despite every astrologer I read waxing very enthusiastic for Aries-born people at this time, I see little evidence of it.

Keep on truckin' ...

1076

May Day is Lei Day in Hawaii, or so the saying goes. Wearing of a lei is a wonderful local custom, one I especially admire. I haven't worn one for about two years now, since the late afternoon I found two discarded after the annual Floral Parade. I pushed the blossoms more densely together and made it into one, very generous lei and wore it for awhile. There are cultural taboos about how one properly disposes of a lei (not observed by those who discarded the ones I found) and I left mine on the Gandhi statue in Kapiolani Park which is almost always garlanded in them.

A very warm Lei Day, too. Hot, by Hawaii standards. The forecast guesses the maximum temperature will drop by ten degrees within a few days. I wondered when seeing it if I should retrieve a long-sleeved shirt from my campus locker when I do the obligatory empty-out on Saturday morning, but I dislike having my little bag contain more than is absolutely essential and prefer to shiver slightly instead in the pre-dawn hours. (Not that one can rely upon weather "forecasts" here, anyway.)

No shivering at the Black Hole, which in this unseasonably warm weather is sweltering, especially when I got stuck in the fan-deprived corner on Wednesday night. The largest bathroom is once again closed, "out of order". That place really needs more than anything to find some decent plumbers. So for over a hundred men, there are only three functioning showers. I should just stay up all night and hit that shower Angelo and I found, but all-nighters may be very easy when fueled by the glass-pipe, are far less so without the stimulus. With this warm weather I could just use the cold-water shower at the beach, but I've been too lazy to tackle it.

Instead, I sit on my beach towel in the shade under a tree, reading until four o'clock when All Things Considered distracts my attention with the mostly-ghastly news of the day. Lady Moana is being annoying, trying every day to stop by and ask for a cigarette, often more than once. I finally declined on Wednesday, said "it's broke time again". It isn't really, but will be soon enough, and I'm fed up with supplying her with tobacco when she most likely has more income than I do but spends it all on the pipe. Joe Guam stopped to talk on Wednesday for the first time in several weeks, boasting about finding a backpack, how someone gave him sixteen dollars, how he ate the Krishna food and immediately had to take a shit, etc. etc. Scintillating conversationalist, that man. Paulo looked utterly wasted and just waved as he scurried past with a Mickey's bottle. And the perpetual-motion Trashpicker kept up his constant routine of walking back and forth from the mall to the park. I wonder if that man ever sits down.

There's a new homeless man, an older one, on campus. He has set himself up a little nest outside the art building, at least during the daytime since I'm sure they don't allow him to sleep there. He has a bicycle laden with bulging plastic bags, uses a discarded crate as a table where he arranges a lot of stuff and some food, and seems to be staying there all day without a place to sit or a book to read. I just can't comprehend how people survive like that, as with the Duchess and her invariable routine of sitting on a bench in the mall all day and sleeping in a sitting position at the bus stop every night.

Oh well, when I was sitting with Angelo in the park last week and he slightly admired an older lady passing by, I noted that she was rather "sagging", then said, "I'm a fine one to talk."

1077

I had a very temporary job on Thursday as a security guard. There is an old black man, with white grizzled hair, who has set up shop at the large bus stop in the beach park across from the mall. He tapes down a cloth and displays upon it beaded necklaces, bracelets and even rings, sits on the bench behind that and continues to manufacture more merchandise. It's amazing the police haven't hassled him. I was sitting in the shade of a tree, reading, when he walked over. Puzzling, because I expected him to ask for a cigarette even though I'd never noticed him smoking. No, he offered me five dollars to watch his "shop" while he went to the toilet in the mall.

I reluctantly agreed but declined the five dollars, saying I'd do it as a favor. But he insisted, said he wanted to give me the five, that he'd had a "very good day". So I pocketed the money and played guard. A woman with two children stopped and looked over the display, asked how much one of the bracelets was. I told her I had no idea, the man who made them was in the mall and would be back soon. She didn't wait. I wonder if I'd said "twenty dollars" she would have bought it?

Later, near sunset time, I went to the mall, got another beer and a roast beef sandwich. An old man who had been lying on a blanket with a woman came over and asked for half of my sandwich! I said sorry, this is all I've had all day (even if it wasn't true). He whined a bit but I continued to refuse. A little later he walked to the mall and came back with a bag from the supermarket. Sheez. Then he came over and asked to buy a cigarette. "Buy your own cigarettes," I said, putting him firmly on my list of people to ignore in future.

Most unusual on Friday, the entire afternoon and early evening with Hawaiian music at Manoa Garden. My favorite new group, Kilinahe, had a two-hour gig and I wasn't at all surprised to find Kory K there when I arrived for it. He'd taken a late lunch hour to hear at least part of it, and eventually left with regret. I stayed for it all and thus not only got to enjoy the music but also a party of about ten people who arrived, two men, the rest women, evidently celebrating the birthday of one of the men who was, okay, I'll go with "gorgeous". He was swathed in leis, including one of the crown-like head ones, all "maile", green leaves rather than blossoms, and that did much to enhance his image. Stunning. Kilinahe sang "happy birthday" to him, in English and Hawaiian, only the second time they sang English during the gig since they specialize in classic songs in the Hawaiian language, one reason I admire them so much.

Now that the Met season is over, the weekly opera broadcast is from different European companies. I'd listened to a bit of Eugene Onegin the preceding Saturday, but my interest in Russian opera more or less begins and ends with Rimsky-Korsakov. On the first Saturday of May, it was a Gluck opera which I wasn't in the mood for. Then on Sunday I felt like listening to it. Oh well.

Angelo came to the beach park late Saturday afternoon. His trusty radar had malfunctioned and he'd spent the night in jail after having gotten caught nabbing some tools from a downtown store, not enough loot to merit more than the overnight stay in the lock-up. I was very happy to see him because I'd had some things I wanted to say to him. One is too private to mention publicly, but I thanked him again for the enjoyable party, said I wished I could afford to party with him once a week although I know I couldn't possibly keep up with his daily routine. After awhile chatting, he left for Waikiki on a shopping expedition. I said I hoped if he got busted again it wouldn't be the same judge the next morning.

If my old friend Felix can't comprehend it, I can hardly expect anyone else to. But I do love that man. Just call me Panther the Polygamist.

1078

But I do love that man.
Even though ...
... when he is good he is very, very good but when he is bad he is horrid.

Jonathan Cainer said in Tuesday's message: Your disapproval of a particular persons behaviour may be justified but you still need to be compassionate and tolerant in your response. Uncanny how often Cainer seems to plead on behalf of Angelo.

Michael Lasser's show featured songs by someone I'd never heard of, Edgar Leslie, although I certainly knew many of the songs. Most of them were from the 20's and 30's. Once again, alas, Lasser used too many modern recordings but the vintage ones were a pleasure, the first time I've heard Gene Austin in a very long time.

Angelo arrived near the end of the show so I put the radio away and talked to him instead. He'd bagged something from an office supply store but upon investigation it turned out to be a rather useless trophy, a box of accessories for some PDA device. Not much use to anyone who didn't own that particular machine. He hasn't been drinking in recent weeks but said he felt like having a beer so I offered to buy it for him so he could use his (supposedly few) remaining dollars to get something to eat. Then he wanted to go to The Garage to drink. I decided on the way there to treat him to pipe-filling as well. Okay, I know, a dumb idea and not one I can really afford just now.

So we scored that and went to the Shower. Fun and games, even though he was in a weirdly paranoid mood, even worried that the shower water was making too much noise, although that hadn't bothered him at all during the previous party there. He had a shower, though, and we finished the pipe. He asked if he could listen to my radio so I gave it to him and went back in to have a shower myself. He had a fancy pocketknife he planned to sell to finance a second pipe, so I added my remaining dollars (didn't count them ... five or six, I think) and he went to do the shopping. Then I noticed the headphones sitting on a window ledge. But no radio. Sigh.

Silly boy, the headphones were worth twice as much as the radio even though they did need need cover-pads. And the radio only cost about fifteen dollars so he would have been lucky to get even five for it. But I guess with the dollars I'd given him plus the knife and the radio he managed to score another bag. I hope he enjoyed it.

Now, now, Albert, be compassionate and tolerant.

Oh well, with such a mini-Follies, the next day wasn't quite as much a nightmare as usual, but I stayed in the beach park all day instead of going to campus, had the first beer so early that the supermarket clerk commented on how early it was for a beer. "Hangover cure," I said. Pedro was around for much of the day and in the mid-afternoon Paulo came over to ask if I had my pipe, said he had a bag and wanted to smoke with me. No pipe, I said, and I told him that although I'd enjoy smoking with him some time, I wasn't feeling up to it after the weird night before.

I made a quick trip to the mailbox where the Fabled Pension Check was waiting. Fortunately a belated birthday melon from heaven was also there so I didn't have to trudge out to the check-cashing place. I checked several stores for a replacement radio and probably should have bought the same model ($14.99 at one store compared to $19.99 at another .... odd when the two stores are such near neighbors), but instead got a smaller, FM-only Sony model for $9.99. Reception sensitivity not as good, but decent enough for the two NPR stations which are what matter most.

While I was investigating the choice, Rocky appeared. He looked splendid and I couldn't help wishing it had been him at the eve of Cinco de Mayo Follies.

1079

Several readers are more upset about Angelo's latest misdeed than I am, although I am disappointed in him, thought we had reached an understanding which would have ended having to be concerned about whether he'd either steal some object from me or take shopping money and disappear with it.

The financial aspect is not important. Indeed, I didn't think the radio was worth stealing and thus had no concern about letting him use it. And look at it this way: a decent Waikiki rent boy would cost at least a hundred dollars for one session. And it's not likely he'd be as sweet, kind and sexy as Angelo is when at his best. It's a bargain, I just wish he wouldn't charge in such an underhanded and dishonest way and I'm especially fed-up with this routine of starting a party and having him run off, leaving me with sleepless pre-dawn hours on my own.

It is important to understand that he can't really help it, he can't make himself resist the greed. Crystal meth makes us all crazy in differing ways. Perhaps greed is at the base of all those ways, but with Angelo the greed is concentrated on getting more of the drug, no matter what the consequences or the insult done to friendship.

This kind of thing is just part of the cost of having an ice addict as a friend and compared to some stories I've heard, I've actually gotten off very lightly. Whether one wants to continue putting up with this stuff is always the question but it's not one I can answer in advance.

There is, after all, nothing else in my life as important to me as the Bad Boys.

1079a

Remember, there are no accidents and, as a wise Frenchman said, all's for the best in this best of all possible worlds. Thoughts in my mind as I sighed through my increasingly habitual late afternoon listening to radio news. And wondering if maybe Angelo had done me a favor and I had unwisely counteracted it. Do I really need to clutter my mind with all the dreary news of the world?

But then, without the radio I would probably not have heard for some time that ... Lestat is destined for Broadway! Yep, Elton John is working on a musical based on Rice's Vampire Chronicles. The CBC report didn't mention who is writing the libretto. That would be a far more challenging task than setting it to music, I'd guess.

Lord Moana is in jail. As always, Lady M's account of what happened is far from clear but my best guess at making sense of it: a "popolo guy" (black man) had been with them causing some friction between himself and Lord M. I am not sure in which direction the offer was made but I think the climax came when the black man offered to pay Lord M twenty dollars to give him (the black man) a blow job! (It could have been the other way around but I doubt Lord M would have gotten that mad at such an offer.) Anyway, the two of them then got into a fight which ended with Lord M being arrested. All of this must have taken place in a more public place than the park, maybe at the mall. Doesn't seem likely that Lord M would do more than spend a night in a holding cell, but Lady M was wailing nonetheless.

Maybe I'm getting rheumatism in my old age. All week I've felt almost like having the flu, at least the bodily aches and pains although missing any other symptoms. Sometimes my legs just don't want to take another step. And the unsettled, wildly changeable weather set off my sinuses as well. Wretched piece of design, the human body. Well, the interior of it anyway. Heaven knows there are splendid examples of exterior design, too many of which are present on the UH-Manoa campus. I even saw one at the Black Hole. That "focking punk" loony was in the shower at about three in the morning and it was a surprise to see what a fine body he has. No, no, I do not need another nutcase in my life, thanks very much, beautiful body or not.

1080

I killed a man. Maybe two. The gun was right against the first one's head, a bit above the ear, when I pulled the trigger. Then I shot the second one but don't know if it was fatal or not since I mercifully woke up. I didn't seem to know either of the men, both young white guys, or remember what came before the shooting. But what an extraordinary feeling it was, just before pulling the trigger, unlike any I've ever known, and thank the gods for that. If reading these murder yarns is going to influence my dreams like that, I'd better switch to romances, would much prefer to dream of throbbing erections than committing murder.

The glass pipe has been in dreams almost every night recently. One night surely wasn't with Angelo because the pipe was black with soot and he's meticulous about cleaning the thing in between fillings. But on Sunday night it definitely was with him, so my dream persona hasn't given up on him.

It was a so-so weekend, Saturday made more special by a splendid performance of "Lucia di Lammermoor" from the Lyons National Opera. This was the French version of the opera, not just with the libretto translated from the original Italian but with some extensive revisions made by Donizetti. Lucia was sung by Patrizia Ciofi. I don't think I've heard her before, a very young-sounding, pure voice using less ornamentation than has been the case with most modern performances of Donizetti. The Argentine tenor, Marcelo Alvarez, was wonderful. The Met should have gotten him for their Faust. I was so transported by the music that it was jarring to return to reality afterwards and the rest of the day had me partly in a daze.

The sextet from Act 2 has been a favorite piece of music since childhood and I was reminded of when I finally got a 45rpm EP disc of legendary ensembles which included the sextet, with Caruso and Galli-Curci, replacing what had become a very scratchy 78rpm disc I'd gotten from my grandmother. Perhaps I'll get the CD collection, which not only includes that recording but another one of the sextet with Caruso and Tetrazzini. I would have been more than happy had they encored it during Saturday's broadcast. (In the recent "Nabucco" broadcast, Levine much surprised me when he did an instant-repeat of one of the choruses, most unusual in a Met performance.)

Meanwhile, in the beach park ...

Lord Moana hasn't returned yet so my guess about an overnight stay seems to have been off. Either the incident was more serious than Lady M implied or else he had outstanding bench warrants. She asked for a cigarette on Saturday evening but didn't say anything further about him. She certainly is more active with him gone, moves around a lot more and I even saw her at the sunset end of the park on Sunday afternoon, a first.

Prairie Home Companion wasn't an especially great one so I didn't mind when Paulo interrupted it by sitting at my table and babbling for awhile. He was so drunk it was almost impossible to understand what he was saying.

On Sunday I joined Helen R to see "Identity". "Well, what did you think?" she asked after it ended. "That it's a capital-W, capital-M, Weird Movie," I said. Incredibly, it was the second time for her, which she didn't tell me until afterwards. I can't imagine sitting through the thing twice. After a plate-lunch-box meal at L&L, Helen went on her way and I spent the rest of the day in the sunset end of the park continuing another Elizabeth George tale of drugs and murder. I was spared dreams of cocaine and heroin overdoses, though.

1081

Tsk, tsk ... a grammatical error in 1080 which I didn't notice (and correct) until the next day.

Who needs "reality television" when there are soap operas underway all around us. The Trashpicker has started a new routine, pausing in his constant trips from mall to beach park and back again to sit with the Beadman at the bus stop. The Beadman keeps a radio going and the Trashpicker now and then gets up to dance to the music. He dances like people did in the sixties. I have to wonder what the poor Duchess thinks about her bedroom being invaded this way, but she still arrives at about four o'clock and takes up her end of the bench, hunches over in her sitting-sleeping position. Even more of a question is what old Wobbly thinks about the intrusion. He has been missing for so long that I once again began to wonder if he'd made the permanent exit, but he arrived on Monday afternoon, wobbling very unsteadily behind a shopping cart which he uses as a walker. And there was the Beadman and the Trashpicker on what Wobbly has always considered as his bed. Wobbly sat for awhile, even tried on some beads and looked at himself in the mirror which the Beadman has available, but eventually he staggered on over to a nearby picnic table, no doubt grumbling to himself about "who's been sleeping in my bed". (Actually, the Beadman closes up shop soon after sunset and goes to a remote table where he apparently spends the night.) It will be interesting to see if Wobbly tries to reclaim his bench by staying there in the morning before the Beadman arrives to set up.

I've given up on even getting a table most of the time, just sit in the shade of a tree on my beachtowel. And I was doing that late Monday afternoon, listening to All Things Considered, when a woman walked past and reached down to hand me something. $1.35 in coins! Maybe I should take Mondo's long-ago advice to beg in Waikiki. If I can score when just sitting there and minding my business, how much better might it get if I actively turned beggar? Whatever, this x equals time promises to be one of the worst, so every coin is welcome.

The Sleeptalker appeared in the game earlier. He evidently yet again killed off his main character and was starting over, was too low a level to join the public chat channel so couldn't have said anything even if he'd wanted to. This habit of committing virtual suicide and then starting from scratch is most peculiar, have never known such a MUD player before. But then I've never known anyone quite like the Sleeptalker, on any level.

1081a

"I don't care if I never see him again," lied the Sleeptalker, referring to Tanioka. The Sleeptalker was in the game again on Tuesday, had advanced enough so he could chat over the public channel. I was a little irked by him carrying on private conversations on that channel, especially since there were at least two other local players in the game and hearing it. But when he asked if I was "still speaking" to Tanioka, I said, "of course." Apparently the Sleeptalker had somehow left telephone messages for Tanioka and had received no return call. Puzzling ... did he mean to Tanioka's stepfather's house or to Tanioka's cellphone (which may be reactivated). I didn't ask.

I did say that since Tanioka was trying to avoid tobacco, alcohol and the pipe, it was understandable that he might want to keep his distance. "I'm not [Angelo]!" said the Sleeptalker. "Thank God for that," I replied.

"I've given up the pipe. I have a plan. I have a dream."

The Sleeptalker as Martin Luther King, Jr.

1082

The Sleeptalker told me I am "silly".
Then added, "but I give you love".

Who could ask for anything more.

It's a pleasure to have him back in the game, and I stayed on campus much longer than usual Wednesday to continue enjoying his company. I hadn't been in the beach park for long before Paulo staggered over, almost-empty vodka bottle in hand, once again so drunk that I could understand only a fraction of what he was saying. So I just sat there and let him ramble, which is what he seemed to want. He does appear to be really on the edge and I hope he doesn't fall off it. A man I haven't noticed before joined us, accepted a swig from the bottle (an offer I'd refused) and eventually they wandered off together.

Not long after they left, Tanioka arrived. He was taking Thursday off so he could go to the ten o'clock premiere showing of "Matrix Reloaded". He's the first person I've heard who wasn't pleased with "X-Men 2". I wasn't much surprised to hear that he knew nothing of telephone messages from the Sleeptalker. He'd seen Angelo who had said he wanted to go straight and get a job, etc., which would be good news if it wasn't more likely just a case of the classic ice-hangover, never-again routine. And he'd seen Rocky earlier in the day, said Rocky had just gotten out of jail but hadn't said why he had been in. I'd also spotted Rocky in the mall but he didn't see me.

Tanioka is making a bit more money at the job now, has surpassed what he was getting as welfare, and he's still pondering the notion of us getting a place together.

Lord Moana, too, was just out of jail, walked by later after Tanioka had left but didn't stop, just grinned and waved.

The Black Hole was unusually rowdy on Wednesday evening ... full moon effect? It's already back to the usual full capacity and there didn't seem to be much of a drop because of the first round of SocSec payments. It appears to be mostly the welfare people who disappear after payday, making it a much better place to stay than it is in the second half of the month.

A thoroughly bizarre dream where my hand had been cut off and I was sewing it back on! No blood, no pain, but Yeukh! nonetheless.

1083

Cheyne

Those of us who keep public diaries on the Internet are no doubt slightly crazy to begin with. Those who include an instant, public comment facility are probably totally insane. Cheyne has one of those. Naturally, I use it. And I've gotten into a bit of trouble recently because of it.

Cheyne is a very young, very handsome fellow whom I have deliberately not yet met in person although I like him very much just from reading his seemingly quite candid website. As is clear from my own ramblings in the Tales, I have a certain weakness for young men with Filipino genes. The Sleeptalker is one-quarter Filipino, Angelo is one-half, not sure about Rocky's percentage but probably at least one-quarter, maybe one-half. Paulo, Pedro, one hundred percent. Like I've said before, sometimes I think I should just move to Manila.

Cheyne had a job with one of the two major local newspapers, a job hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people, especially his age, would have LOVED to have had. But he neglected it in favor of his club life and his seemingly perpetual search for the Love of His Life [tm] and got the sack. Now he's going to have to give up his first independent nest and move back in with Mama. He should consider himself lucky to have a Mama who will let him back in, else he'd be joining us at the Black Hole.

Instead, he's feeling sorry for himself, even posting photographs of himself acting out True Anguish. Sheez. I suffered through a series of self-portraits he did as a flirting slut, twisting his mouth and semi-winking, but I unfortunately didn't resist commenting upon these new "look at poor me, I'm so unhappy" snapshots.

Of course, his fan club jumped on me, even though, let's face it, a silly young faggot just can't win against a silly old queen. We've been there, done that. One of Cheyne's fans was especially absurd because he's been writing in his own diary about searching for that Love of His Life [tm] by looking at photos people are sending him, trying to set up blind dates. Ha! And he calls me "lonely"? (I meant "silly young faggot" about one of the fans, not Cheyne himself.)

But have you noticed how many young gay men write these "blogs" which are saturated with the search for That Man? It's especially amazing when the writer is so damned cute. Got several of those, just on this island.

Of course, I wouldn't want to consider what I might have written in my early twenties had I been keeping one of these so-called "blogs". What an awful thought.

1084

I've always been turned off by ultra-effeminate men. Not the ones who are naturally effeminate, but the ones who exaggerate it. There is one working at McD's in the early morning who is so outrageous it's comical. Another one occasionally works at the used bookshop and he would definitely be on my list of desirables were he not such a mincer. There's even one at the Black Hole who gets a lot of teasing from some of the men but seems to both enjoy and encourage it. The Tweaker was missing for awhile but has returned and he's formed a buddy link with the swish one and they've been sleeping side-by-side every night recently. Ain't love sweet ...

Not love but fun anyway is my new playmate at the mall and the weekend began with an early morning session, the fourth I've had with him I think. Angelo likes to tease me about my love for "sausage and cream". In the case of the new playmate it's a sizeable sausage but never any cream. I think he's another icehead, eager for sex but unable to take it to completion. Never mind, still an amusing playmate.

The libraries on campus were closed for the weekend as we move into the interim before summer session starts. I stopped in briefly at the computer lab to check email on Saturday morning, then went for a beer, shared a can of Spam with the cats. They turned up their noses at first but eventually returned to eat it. Then I went back to the lab and hadn't been there long when the Cherub arrived. He'd flown over from Kauai to get new eyeglasses, or at least that was the excuse, and he had a room at the usual hotel in Waikiki. He wanted to check the used bookshops and then pick up the glasses, so we agreed to meet later at the beach park.

He bought beer, cigarettes and sandwiches and we went to the hotel. As usual, his room only had one large bed so I took the quilted cover and made a nest for myself on the floor after having a long hot shower. Then we watched "Gangs of New York" which was picturesque but rather boring, I thought, followed by a very silly porno movie with women who seemed utterly inept at oral sex. Then I curled up in the cover and fell asleep, was awakened later by the Cherub nudging my foot. He gave me some money and said I could move onto the bed because he was going out. Peculiar. He'd had quite a bit of beer by then so I hope he didn't end up in a drunken brawl somewhere.

I didn't feel at all sleepy so watched part of another porno movie which was even worse than the first one, then took a beer and left, went to sit on the beach at Fort DeRussy. There were several people sleeping there, most with grass mats and blankets. One of them asked if I wanted a mat when he arrived, but I was content with my beachtowel. It was a clear night, fortunately, and although it did feel a bit chilly in the hour before dawn, it was a pleasure sitting there watching the ocean and the few people who came and went during the night, including a man who much surprised me by stripping off his clothes and taking a naked swim. I've never seen that happen in Waikiki before, although there is a tiny beach at the base of Diamond Head which is unoffically nudist.

I should have eaten one of the sandwiches because drinking four beers with little food left me with a ferocious hangover on Sunday, almost as bad as a pipe aftermath. Breakfast at the Wailana Coffee Shop didn't help much and I spent the morning collapsed on a bench in the secluded grove, alternating reading with light napping. A lunchtime beer didn't help either. So much for the hair of the dog.

But it was good to see the Cherub, and I wish he'd come over more often.

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the collected tales