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20. Part Two - In Which The Author Finds Soul In The Glow Of A Crack Pipe, Reflected From The Mascara Running Down A Dude's Face

Catch up by reading PART ONE before you read PART TWO

Okay, guys. where were we?  Leaving New Mexico I believe.  I really liked New Mexico.  It was all really hippy.  There were these co-ops where aging hippies would buy you all this food made from twigs and brush and shit.  As if any of us need any more difficulties, add sandy bowel movements to the equation and it was a laugh-a-minute.

We met some interesting people and did a ton of illegal things and then left before they caught our scent.  Shad and Heather were in a hurry to meet up with some of her friends in West Hollywood. and I was game for anything.

We took off into the desert and it is not as cool as the tv would lead you to believe.  It's hot and miserable and I was worried that we didn't have nearly enough luxuries like water and gas.  The towns were so small and far between that it took almost two days to get through the fucking thing.  We couldn't really steal gas because the towns consisted of five dudes with shotguns, so we'd limp in and beg a couple of dollars here and there to lube up the tank.  God, it sucked.  Do you put $3 in the tank and (hopefully) get almost to the next level of Dante's inferno or buy a couple of slushies to cool your dick off in?  I tell you it was ridiculous and surreal on a Dali level.  Time melted and just sitting in those gas stations for hours was murder.  My head baked and constantly throbbed and after a time you'd just have to laugh cause the heat made you delirious and nobody within 100 miles even wanted you there, sitting on the curb telling dirty jokes with a biblically-ugly linebacker with tits.  It was like Young Guns when whoever says, "Why ain't they killin' us?" and then what's his face says, "Cause were in the spirit world, asshole."  It was like that but without the sitting on the couch, comfortable and wondering why Emilio Estevez didn't change his name to Sheen when everyone knows that his acting chops couldn't carry his pretentiousness.  Yeah, it got confusing like that.

We did finally get out of there, though, and it was good.  On the third day, there was West Hollywood.  Holy fucking West Hollywood.  Remember when  told you that I loved crazy people?  Well gang, this is where they're all from.  It was like a drive-through insane asylum.  They really know their crazy there.  We got into town and kinda drove around aimlessly because we didn't know where the fuck we were.  Heather had talked to her friends on the phone and had come up with a vague meeting place by a YMCA that we had no idea even existed let alone where it was located.  The logical assumption here would be to find YMCA-y type people.  While this is ultimately the best case scenario for me, it was frustrating for Shad and Heather.  I drove until we found a relatively quiet residential area to leave the car and decided to walk a bit.

Did you know that there's two Melroses?  OH Christ.  There's Melrose Place and there the Melrose we found that kinda looked like Detroit's East side but with trannies stumbling around on broken heels with balls hanging out of their short skirts.  Trannies with five-o'clock shadow and leg hair, deep voices trying to 'come hither' you.  Would you have guessed the glow from a crack pipe reflecting off of the mascara running down a dude's face could be soulful?  It was the Devil's Ray-Bans.  It was getting late so we found this squat (an abandoned house or building filled with degenerates, deviants, and the all-around maladjusted) and decided to hunker down for the night.  Now we had no idea that on the other side of the large brick wall next to the squat was an elementary school, nor did we know that these guys had been throwing dirty needles and shit over it, but the cops did.  We hadn't been there a couple of hours when they raided it full-on Cops style.  There was fucking helicopters shining lights everywhere, guys in riot gear screaming and chasing trannies and junkies all over hell and back, bull horns squelching and blaring.  It was chaos and blindingly bright.  That's what really made it something - how bright it was.  You don't ever really grasp how dark a place is until someone shines a light on it, usually unannounced and uninvited.  It's then that you see the things you'd have rather not seen.  The dead and rotting body of a rat only feet from where you were laying.  The used and sad condoms and bent needles discarded only because they were so clogged with infected blood that they refused to work any longer.  All the receipts for nothing but the cheapest beer or wine in the largest bottles, broken bracelets that had been unwillingly torn from somebody's wrist, four kittens huddled in a corner, too scared to even mew.  These are the narrow places, gang, it's where it gets really heavy.

We were all rounded up and sat down.  The cops asked if any of us had ID then laughed and began to give us all a lecture on the virtues of adulthood while wearing riot gear and pointing assault rifles.  I know there's something poignant or maybe ironic there but i'll be damned if I'm going to give it a go.  I'd probably be wrong anyways, who am I the fuck to say, right?  Everything ever worth taking has always been done so and the end of a gun, but were they taking of giving?  Can someone in the depth of such a state be drawn back to the realities they've hoped to run from with threats?  These equally violent overweight brutes couldn't possibly have had more guts than us.  This guy who's teaching a class here in this prison would probably call this deluded thinking.  So far he'd lay it all out as that, but I don't know.  I don't think it's so simple.  I ask questions in his class but if the answer isn't in the manual that they gave him after his hard won two years he seems awfully vague or directly hostile, but I guess that's not what we were talking about.

We moved on and found this little place where Hollywood Blvd. ends at the 101 that feeds the homeless and sometimes gives you clean works if you're a junkie.  Mostly it's a safe place for younger runaways.  It's clean and the people who worked there were pretty up & up.  If parents called looking for their children the place kept it's word of anonymity and wouldn't tell them if they were there or not, but would take a message.  Nobody looks too hard for lost children, though.  I found a note on that board from my aunt Cindy, though. I never called here based on that note but I always did wonder how she found the place.  That woman helped me through some heavy places, but that's a different story I suppose.

Shad, Heather, and I used that place as our base of operations so to speak.  The gave you something to eat a couple of times a day and it was the one place we knew we could go to regroup.  Shad and Heather would go out to find her friends and I'd leave to wander around and find the twists and knots.  There's a hotdog stand that's run by transvestites.  Mustard with grilled onions and a bitching place to score meth if speed and tough hand jobs was your thing.  Most of the liquor stores that were in the "inside" (kind of a behind-the-street street, dirt swept under the rug) all had small walls outside to sit on so you could drink your beer and argue with fat Mexican girls.

I never looked for Marilyn Monroe's star but that whole town was her grave, only every time air from a grate blew up a dress I swear to Christ there was a dick under it.  I have to stop here.  I'll continue next with meeting Shad and Heather's friends and some other fun and gross shit.  Till then, hugs and kisses.


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