This past Thursday night, I had houseguests who I stayed up late with (3:45 am) and got up early with (8:00 am). In between, the flu I had been nursing woke me up at 5:30 am, and between the sick and lack of sleep, I spent the day in bed. No, I am not an alcoholic. Stop looking at me that way.
After dropping my buddies at the train (hence the early wake-up call), I slithered back under the sheets. I lay there for hours half conscious, falling into that twilight where your exhausted body shuts down, but you don’t quite make that crucial somersault into REM, dream sleep. In a way, it was worse than death, because sleep -real, refreshing, “Off-to-the-Land-of-Nod” sleep- simply would not come.
And then, perhaps around 3:00 in the afternoon, I drifted off.
The scene is a party at the Bush Family compound, where I’m kind of buzzed and in need of a lift home: former President George W. Bush volunteers.
So off we go in his car (which, if my memory serves, was some 1970s thing with more than a little rust on the sides), when he suddenly takes an unexpected detour.
“Where are we going?” I ask him. “This isn’t the way to my house.” The former President gives me that infamous smirk and laughs his little heh heh heh. Then, he reaches out and pinches my cheek. “Don’t you worry about nothin’,” he mutters. “Heh heh heh.”
I glance at his face, and he’s got this creepy look in his eye. At this point I realize we’re driving up a really steep mountain, through the bizarre remains of some of-of-business amusement park. The President slides his hand across the seat and tries to rub my thigh.
“OH NO!” I yell, jerking away. “Oh NO, motherfucker, we are NOT playing THAT game!” I push open the car door and jump out. He grinds to a halt and come out after me. I realize I’m in trouble -the 43rd President of the US is trying to rape me- and I go into fight or flight mode. I’m searching around frantically for a rock or a stick, but there’s nothing in sight: it’s going to be hand to hand, and that motherfucker is a LOT bigger than me.
Bush is advancing, smirking and heh-heh-hehing, and I raise my fists to fight, when suddenly…
Barbara Bush steps out of the shadows, and yells “George! Just what do you think you’re doing?”
He whirls around, stunned; then, casting head down, he mumbles, “Nothing, ma.”
This is when I stumble over a brick. I grab it and shake it at the President and yell “Man, come over here now and I’ll fucking brain you, motherfucker!”
But as I yell the words, I know it’s all fake, just bravado and bluster. I was saved by Bush’s mom.
And that’s when I woke up. True story.
When I Wrote Rants Like This….
…people suggested I might be psychotic:
Hey- Clive Crook- how has austerity hurt you? Wait? What? Your Roth and 401 and other investments are doing fine because the market is through the roof? While worker’s wages are crashing and the rest of the population is now basically reduced to slave labor? And while your dickhead Republican friends are looking at those people making minimum wage or less, and deciding the real place for budget cuts is to food stamps and welfare while we talk about fucking medicare patients, slash medicaid, and now the scumbags who put us in this mess are gunning for Pete Peterson’s social security slashing. Remember when we had a social security surplus, and C+ Augustus gave it away to the Koch brothers and Richie Rich while expanding a give out to pharm companies, excuse me, I mean expanding Medicare but not allowing for competitive bids. Nothing is going to change until Clive Crook and his asshole friends are gutted in the streets like something you see in the movies. Fuck them. Fuck them all. In case I was not clear- FUCK THEM ALL.
Not that Mr. Cole is wrong. He’s not, and frankly the day that the aptly named Clive Crook is butchered by an angry mob, I want to be the one who forces him to look at his own disemboweled intestines as he bleeds out.
Bu the above is what writing too much about politics will do to you.
This Sunday, May 5, I will be running my first official race: the 2013 Broad Street Run.
As you can imagine, I’m looking forward to this, although I am not exactly looking forward to getting up before 5:00 AM or heading out into the early morning chill in nothing more than running shorts and a short sleeved shirt. I’m in the grey corral, based on an anticipated time of 1:30-1:40. I’m going to try to beat this time, although I have never really timed myself, or tried to measure my time or my pace. I run for the same reasons my friend Moura does:
I do not know my average. I do not keep a log. I cannot tell you my race times. Sometimes I am fast. Sometimes I am slow.
But I run. I sweat. I do not mist.
I run in the cold, in the heat, in the rain, in the snow. (But not in the ice—I draw the line at ice.) I run injured, healthy, hung-over, busy, bored, tired, heartbroken, in love, in failure, and in success…
I am a runner.
It was not the achievement that was important. It was the doing. It was the running. It was the verb…
[I] run because I want to run for the rest of my life. I run because life is sometimes hard, and running makes me strong. Running makes it easier.
But in order to run, you must keep on running. It’s all about the verb.
I’ve been on tour quite a bit lately, and only able to pull off brief runs of 3-5 miles, and often I haven’t had the time for even that. But I’ve plugged away to the extent that I can. But on returning to Philly this weekend, and knowing I had a race in front of me and no tour on the horizon, I’ve gotten back into the swing of things. 11.5 miles on Monday, and another 4 on Tuesday. I’m taking today off and hitting the bricks again Thursday and Friday for another long and short.
Because like the song goes, “We don’t know when to stop.”
One of my regular reads is Philadelphia Gun Crisis, a photojournalism blog that reports on the rampant, spine-curdling gun violence in our city.
To my mind, guns are the worst kind of weapons when used in crime. Not because they are more effective than a knife or a club when killing a person (although they are), but because the odds that other people will get killed as well are exponentially higher. You always read about how some poor child or little old lady got mowed down or paralyzed because the bullet missed its intended target and wound up flying through a window or door. The sheer ease with which guns can be used is also troubling: if you want to kill someone with a knife or a club, you have to get in pretty close. With a gun, you just have to pull it out and pop pop pop, there’s a body on the ground.
Every Sunday, Gun Crisis publishes its Week in Review. Each headline is a link: this week saw an arrest for a double homicide in Kensington, a 10 year old wanted for mugging people with a toy gun, a man with four bullets in his head, an eight year old child witness to a different double homicide in Kensington (this one is particularly hideous), and several more, including a man shot dead and discovered n a burning house a few blocks from where I live.
There is a lot to love about Philadelphia, a tough city with a lot of heart. But our murder rate is not one of them.
Update: I almost forgot about the guy who rode up to a car on his bicycle, and killed the driver. Dumbfuck either didn’t know or didn’t care that a goddamn marked cop car was right behind him the whole time You can read about the judge that allowed this menace on the street, and watch video of the bloody aftermath here (NSFW).
…is a state filled with beautiful mountains.
And somewhere in those mountains, along the banks of a river, is a little arty town called Thomas, where I played this past Saturday night, at the Purple Fiddle.
It is exactly the kind of place I would go if I wanted to hole up of a year or two and write a novel.
Reviewing ye olde site-meter for the first time in years, I see that someone popped by for 17 minute visit, and 8 different page views.
What kind of masochist does this?
So after two weeks in California, I arrived back in Philadelphia at 5:45 AM last Friday. I wasn’t exactly looking forward to returning (who would, after two weeks of sunshine and flowers) but tried to put my mind in that “clean slate” frame.
The cabbie tried to rip me off by taking a circuitous route home. My street was littered with trash. My neighbor’s front yard, which we share, was overgrown with crabgrass. It didn’t take very long to hear people on the street loudly referring to each other as “nigger” and “motherfucker”. I got stuck behind someone double-parked, and could see that there was a HUGE parking spot she could have been using.
And I thought to myself, “I can do better than this. I can do a lot better than this.”
Deep thoughts on a Wednesday morning.