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Archive for April, 2016

Carl’s Big Bar Room Breakdown


I arrived as the band was loading in their hulking speakers and keyboards and guitar cases and backpacks and packs of Camels tucked into pockets or rolled up in their sleeves. Hairy dudes, skinny dudes, hairy and skinny dudes with hard women with tattoos and ankle bracelets and piercings and one with her head shaved on only one side like she’d just come out of brain surgery. It was hard to tease the band out of the extensive entourage and later from the crowd itself because every one in the bar kinda looked the same in their quest for individuality and most were young but didn’t look like they would age any better than an over-customized sports car driven hard.

In a bit, the sound check began which signaled an end to any possibility of conversation or even concentration, like trying to enjoy the scenery on the river banks while you’re being washed downstream in whitewater. I could  tell by the sound check, that the cacophony – which means really loud, discordant, noise because I recently looked it up and it is a much more interesting word than just saying noise and sometimes women are impressed by big words but only if you use them correctly – well, I could tell that the band was either really bad or really good or so bad that they might be considered good like paintings that are nothing more than splotches of paint that could have been heaved onto the canvas by a group of monkeys but sell for thousands of dollars because some critic sees something that isn’t really in the picture but rather in his head and other people convince themselves that they see the same thing because to express your unique tastes in the world of the cultured means you must conform to the tastes and attitudes of other elites which is like being infected by same bacteria which brings the two meanings of cultured together in my opinion. Their test song to wrap up the sound check, before joining the bar to drink with the customers, confirmed my most prominent suspicion of their unique and horrible, but groundbreaking not to mention eardrum breaking, talent. I’m drinking cheap beer and Jim Beam at breakneck speed like I’ve just been informed that there is a limited supply or a race to oblivion taking place with fabulous prizes like an over-customized sports car for the winner. A young woman with purple hair, not entirely purple just a shock of purple, like maybe it happened by accident, in her bangs over her right eye, is seated beside me and leaning forward with her pretty elbows on the bar staring at her drink like she’s trying to figure out what it is and what she should do with it.

While the band remains at the bar drinking after the sound check, out comes this little, mostly naked, Indian guy in a diaper carrying a big Sitar and a monkey in a vest and a fez hat and the nearly naked Indian sits down and starts playing the Sitar without a sound check having been assured perhaps that there was plenty of sound and without the aid of the mute, massively stupid speakers glowering at the crowd from behind him like those big stone guys on Easter island. I figure he’s the warm up act although how warm can he be dressed in a diaper but who am I to criticize since I’ve never been to India (or Easter Island for that matter) or ever considered a diaper as an viable mode of dress except, of course, in the unlikely event that I might shit my pants which happened once after I’d drank too much and tried to hold it too long and couldn’t find the bathroom. The monkey cavorts on stage, climbing up and over the resoundingly naked Indian who is a glistening, little, dark raisin under the stage lights like an order of tandoori chicken sitting under a heat lamp waiting for the waiter to take it to the table. Climbing on the astonishingly naked Indian’s shoulders and head is the monkey but naked Indian seems not to notice or care and is also seemingly oblivious to the disturbing sensuality of the monkey’s antics and movements which includes grabbing at his privates although I could be the only one with such a concerned assessment possibly fueled by my unprecedented rate and volume of alcohol consumption.

I notice that Purple Hair has placed a hand on my thigh and has turned on her stool to face me and ask my name. I draw a blank and say “Carl” even though that isn’t my name at all but the name of the big, sweaty guy with decaying teeth who had tried to sell me insurance from my front porch that morning after I had foolishly answered the door. I buy Purple Hair a beer and a shot which intensifies her curiosity about me or at least about my willingness to ply her with drink and prompts her to put her other hand on my leg but even if she had dropped to her knees and started giving me a blow job I was reduced to watching her like in a pornographic movie without the ability to participate meaningfully because I was pretty much numb from the waist down and the neck up and beginning to wonder how I was going to transport myself home if I could remember where home was or whether I had a car or anything at all about my previous life. I was thinking of asking Purple Hair if she lived upstairs or next door so I could go home with her not to perform interesting, degrading and possibly illegal acts, which would be my norm, but simply to lie down for a few minutes and get the Sitar and visions of the monkey out of my mind.

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It was in the drunk tank after a long and pointless absence from the practical world, missing my wallet, when I finally remember my name.

Gunnar.

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