Prologue: The End is The Beginning
Chapter One: The Planet Of The 70’s
Chapter Two: Beneath The Planet Of The 70’s
So remember yesterday when I wrote about a rumor regarding the upcoming Star Wars Blu-ray Editions coming out in September? It was some shocking news about how in the Blu-ray for Return Of The Jedi a revision was made so that Darth Vader now shouts “Nooooo!!!” when he stops the Emperor from killing Luke. [Read Nooooo!!! Did George Lucas Make Darth Vader Even Wimpier In The ‘Star Wars’ Blu-ray Edition?] Well, guess what? It’s true, it’s all TRUE! A representative from LucasFilm confirmed the news today to the NY Times...
IN THIS TWILIGHT
The Mask Collector
Tuesday June 3rd 2003
Car keys in one hand and his cell phone in the other Darren headed out for work, his mind was already on his plans for this evening. It was just a few drinks with some guys from the office but Darren thought it would be the perfect time to test the waters and see if he had his dating mojo back. He’d been quite the player in college and that wasn’t so long ago now was it?
He almost collided with the old woman standing on his doorstep. She was naked except for a tattered, mostly open bathrobe and swayed in place. Darren drew back from her, "The Hell?"
"In the walls," she said, her voice a ragged falsetto, "In the walls crawling around..."
“What are you talking about? Who are you?"
Shuffling, ponderous, footsteps started to echo up the stairwell, every few steps were punctuated by the sound of labored breathing. The old woman's face grew pale and she fled into the apartment on the opposite side of Darren and locked her door.
Chad Lunt made his way onto the landing, there was a thick parcel under one of his flabby arms. He was wearing a bright orange muscle shirt and dark baggy shorts. "Morning," he wheezed.
"Morning." Darren said, "You know I was meaning to talk to you-about-"
"I see you met your other neighbor." Chad drew closer, heat and odor radiated off his body, "Crazy Agnes. She's schizo or something. Too nuts to have a job but not nuts enough to be locked up."
Darren looked back towards her door, "She seemed a little out of it.”
"She probably isn't taking her meds. The meds I bet your tax dollars pay for."
"Is there anyone we should call?"
"You wanna get sued? Just leave well enough alone. She probably won't burn the place down and the damn landlord won't kick her out as long as he's got those government checks coming in."
"Actually, I wanted to talk to you about something..."
"Oh I can imagine." Chad hefted his parcel, "Bet you wonder if I'm getting drugs every day or porn or something."
"No! I just -”
"I got them off EBay, they're reproductions of Tibetan spirit masks."
"I don't know what to say to that."
"I have all kinds, Melanesian skull masks, old Halloween false-faces, ceremonial Eskimo masks- I have a little bit of everything. Reproductions mainly, who can afford the real thing these days?"
"Why are you-”
"My sociology dissertation was on the subject, it was called Vizards and Veils: The Transformative Evolution of Masks. It would have been groundbreaking, too bad some cunt with an associate’s degree had to go and decide she couldn't take a joke. Too late to cry about it now."
"Late? Oh man." Darren checked his watch, and realized that if he ran every yellow he might just be on time for work, "I've gotta get going."
Darren ran down the steps, Chad still trying to talk to him all the while, "Working for The Man eh? A smart kid like you should be self employed like I am..."
Price Breaks And Heartaches
A journal of retail and failed romance
Al And Tallulah’s Wild Ride
The next concert in Al and Tallulah’s Wild Ride was Judas Priest and it was an awesome show. The concert was at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center or SPAC, it was an outdoor amphitheater created to bring culture to the city. The powers that be quickly learned that ballet, opera and classical music didn’t pay the bills so it soon became the site of numerous concerts- this week it was Judas Priest next week it was Jimmy Buffet. Metal or Marguritaville, now that’s what I call culture.
Seats within the actual amphitheater had sold out so we had gotten the less expensive but no less enjoyable lawn seats. Lawn seat meant you got there was early as you could and hoped you got a spot close enough to the actual stage that you could make sense of the teensy figures strutting around on the stage.
Tallulah and I got there early and we got a good spot. She was wearing cute white shorts, grass stains be damned.
(When I first asked the woman I would marry out on a date she would also be wearing white shorts. The must be a weakness of mine.)
We lay back on the lawn and watched the clouds pass overhead. We made small talk, the details don’t matter, but it was sweet and pleasant. Then I closed my eyes and let a feeling of bliss and peace wash over me.
Tallulah let me have those few moments of bliss before she stuck a blade of grass up my right nostril. I sneezed wildly for what seemed like forever.
Once I had caught my breath she asked me, “Are you all right?”
“I think I had an out of body experience.”
A few make out smooches later something soft and powder smacked me on the right temple and went rebounding into the growing crowd of lawn seaters.
“The Hell?” I said.
“Incoming!” Tallulah shouted as she pushed me down.
Another volley of marshmallows flew back and forth through the crowd and rained down on us from the lucky bastards up in the nosebleed section of the amphitheater.
And you read that right, there were marshmallows flying everywhere.
“What the Hell is going on here?”
She laughed, “Marshmallow war!”
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing, I couldn’t believe people were wantonly wasting snacks. Even now I can’t, I could understand pitching candy corn or black licorice at strangers but not this.
“Everyone brings marshmallows and throws them.”
“Then why didn’t we bring some ammo?”
We kept our heads down as sugary shrapnel zipped this way and that. Occasionally one would land close enough for Tallulah to gabbed it and pitch back into the crowd. “I had some,” she explained, “but they went stale.”
“Oh,” I nodded understandingly, “you wouldn’t want to hit someone with a stale marsh mellow and leave them with open smores.”
Arrrrrgh! yourself. That was a good joke.
As I said before many of my old friends had fallen by the wayside since my love life had blossomed, in the summer that was even more the case. Now some of them were already lost causes- Adrian had a romance of his own going on and Gordon had seemingly disappeared off the face of the earth leaving nothing but angry creditors and outstanding warrants.
Kevin K. Hanson and his entourage however were still around and always asking me to do one thing or another with them. One hot summer in July I brought Tallulah to Kevin's annual pool party.