Rumspringa

photo(1)Considering that this summer is ending – albeit Mother Nature has not yet signed off on the project even if we have considered Summer at an end because we sent Sophie and Dante off to school. Summer is still a time to lazily ponder deep thoughts and lay beside the river, the bugs and pests putting on one last sonorous show before laying to rest in the frozen and bitter ground. Let us then, take a break from Doom. Set aside a civilian’s ranting on geo-global-econo-petro politics, stanzas on overly ripe tomatoes, and consider that not all dead soldiers pile up on the battle field. Some of them can be stacked on the table.
There has been for some time a party house up the street.
Now, any house can have a party, but to be a party house takes a special set of depravity, a unique point on a map that is not handed out at vacation spots, not found at rest stations next to brochures on Animal Gator Farm. These places are known as tramps once found farms and barns for a flop. These affairs, sordid magical gatherings are attended by those who cannot find there way to the Juggalo Convention, the Phish Phesti (ivus? um? mos?), or possess the skills needed to arrange their own social affairs from simple picnic to complex cocktails.
By party, I do not project or intend to say it is like those torrid affairs you may have attended or hosted in college where friends came and plugged into your room, drank all your booze, and moved on leaving the nerds and re-turds who never know when to leave. This is not a “let’s dress like the 70s tonight,” not a keg of craft beer, Vampire Weekend soundtrack, conversation and legitimate party antics – a few kisses had on top of the coat pile. A story that involves the party snacks as props. Taking a beer, taking a sip, setting it down, forgetting where it is and taking another one. This is not a party as you may have had in your first apartment, home, or wretched walk-up when you first alighted to the city in order to make it as an artist, stockbroker, or cum dumpster. No after-work buddies pretending to network but really starting at your bra without any legal HR resource, taking all your soaps you carefully gathered from all those hotels, peeing in your hamper and you know it was Bob from accounts receivable, but there was no way to prove it. Or that Chanel thong behind the toilet. When did that happen?
No, the real party house is somewhere in the sweet spot between crack house and frat house, in the space between Celine’s passage of despair and Dr. Dre’s lyrical Native Son endgame, the wandering undead who did not make it quite to society, those that dropped out, and those who never were invited to be part of any community. The Hep C crowd. The boys from D block. A dire set of cards, characters, and souls dead and yet not collected – still animated corpses looking for a place for youth to pass out and die, for old looks and lost hours to be spent writing statements on their jeans or crouching in their hoodies, every bad intention duct tape and all.
The noise from the party house can be heard across the yards. By yards, I mean, parking lot. The space that used to be years ago Wilson’s Alley, a tight collection of close to thirty houses (so I have been told), that were removed in some extraction, the early signs of Urban Renewal that great leveler of The Modern. The houses were torn down and the people were moved to what we may call “The Projects” in town. Now, decades later, more rot has set in, perhaps the whole city needs to be burned down in a massive immolation Burning Manesque celebration that leaves a new beginning…. and lots of parking lots, without the $450 ticket to get to The Playa, or La playa Ardiente del Hombre que en Realidad es un Postre Lleno de Gente fucktardo que Usted Acaba de Pagar $450 Para Entrar as it may be.
Early on in the evening the cacophony emits from cars. Horns, car alarms, beeps and boops. The cell phones are all set to stun and downloaded ring tones from pathetic popular culture’s neither bits. The early crowd who stops by to see “what’s going on.” Nothing is going on. Of course. Nothing really, that we can see. These are the lame-ass punks who show up all wrong. Too early, too late.
photo(2)Then the sun sets. Dinner is not served inside, whether children are inside or not. This is the place of broken chairs. A house of empty unmade hearts, cluttered dish piles in strange sinks placed there by mutting Clowered-Piven hands, strangely healthy friends who never work out but are always active and awake. The noise it turned up. There is music playing. The voices are still friendly, but in time they will turn to fighting and raving “fuckyoufuckyoufuckyou” piles. There is a party house, I like to believe, in every village. There is a dotting of them about the land and were Yelp interested, they, and not the local police, would maintain a map and one could search for a location and attributes:
Search For: Random people, some kind of drugs, I bring my own cheep beer
Near: However far $4 gas can get me from my mom’s basement
As we sat there for the summer evening, we listened to what was becoming a familiar narrative arc of “tee hee hee ha ha yo” to “ha ha fuck yo ha fuck” to “fuckyoufuckyoufuyohaha.” I was told lately that a beating has occurred there. “Dude was a big [guy] totally beat the shit out of [that other guy]. Bloody mess, that’s why the cops were running all over with flashlights. He got away, but from what I hear, dude is in for it. Someone is goin’ to be hunting for him for what he did.”
We weren’t surprised that the taints and threats turned into real violence. These aren’t the plan-ahead think into the future cause and effect crowd. What was a little shocking was that a middle-level hood was about our quiet village, not royalty but a upper-level middle hood manager, and the proverbial can of “whup ass” will indeed be opened because this dude isn’t “shitting around.” “That [African-American] is goin’ to be dead,” my cultural informant, one of Guignol’s Band, related to me. Indeed, the village is crawling with all manner of thug life, even though we have police cameras, cars, dogs, pony, boats, and several branches of law enforcement. It is a wonder that in such a small village I can, if I wanted, buy some very big drugs.
We should not be too surprised since the area is storied in crime and the pillage of the criminal element to Gothem city and here in Fort Mudge know no boundaries. Pirates allegedly lived in town across the river in the 18th century and some are to have lived in our own fare village. In town, the bar with the poly-carbon pirates was the residence (allegedly) of Kaptin Krunch or whomever… Across the river there was a healthy number of mafia, even a few houses with secret rooms downstairs. I have been told by a close informant that he had been in these caverns, seen the secret doors, even through the mechanisms were rusty and sprung and the secret rooms no longer fit for more than storing things you want to rot away to moldy dust. Close by stands a hotel/resort now closed in disrepair and with the sign hanging half off, as they do in bad B movies. The place is huge. Fake huge, puffed up on stucco, tiles, and tacky. The place *allegedly* was a known spot for drugs on the trail from Canada to Gotham. Part of the chain of bad places to wind up when the boys said “You’re going upstate Buggy.” Today it rots away. An epic relic to those half-real days of family upstate vacations and mob wars.
In the village is a house that was built by a major dealer. This is from some time ago. When people smoked crack. This is know in the village as The Crack House.
photoThe Crack House is a really stellar place. Really…. I know, because it is on the County Seat house tour just about every year and when we idle and cultured folk go a-culture-ing, we visit about on the County Seat Tour to restored and well-documented architectural treasures. Today, Josh McThug, or James Henry Taylor, or Skinny Pete and Badger or whoeverthefuck, no longer own said Crack House. As a matter of fact, the Crack house is somewhat an ill fitting sobriquet since the actual house saw no or little “lighting up” at all. This was the king pin, el heffe, except that crack isn’t Mexican, so The Chief or whatever they called crack (is that a proper noun?) kings, leaders, tzars, or major dealers in the day, or the dizz-a, as the kids used to say, back when they were young. It perhaps should be called the Crack House if we call today’s mansions the Complex Derivative Swap house or Crushing Deadening Job House.
Today, the Crack House is in the hands of a nice non-crack couple who had bought the place at police auction. They worked hard to repair the vision of whomever designed it. Some Norwegian with a bowl haircut and wore far too few colours of turtle neck sweaters. These nice simple folk, rhe buyers, patched all the holes — goddamn the DEA never watched This Old House — and repaired the 16 shits that was knocked out of the place. When it was finished, it was cracktastic and ready for the rest of use to fawn all over and comment in their visitor’s book “Oh Dave and Wendy you really did a wonderful job restoring architect Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch’s work. I mean, the use of Ikea alone!” Yes, the epic splendor had been revived… A drug Rome, a chemical Athena, splendor earned by laying low such a generation of jokers, smokers, and midnight tokers… however, one tokes crack? I think perhaps not. This house was and is a great and stories place. However, no longer a party house. Never was a party house. It was the place all the lust and money from all those little squalid parties fed. And I have been to a few of those places.
There was a place in a certain Guitarville, that I knew. That I attended a number of affairs… for reasons far too complex for this blog and personal for any confession on the internet, seeing how Mother Church, Father NSA, and Big Brother Employer are watching. Anyway, this friend of mine frequented this party house for certain reasons related to a group of good friends…. and such. And this place that I knew continued long before and after my visits. It ran as they should, day and night.
Interesting how much energy those who cannot find time nor interest in employment can put in to creating other activities. How long you can stare at your own face. Why is it that the junkies are up long before I can rub the sleep from my eyes and long after I can no longer face awake and must set my succulent head on some surface and pass out – no matter how many dicks are to be drawn on my resting head by other party-goers I need to sleep, I must, I will sleep. If to work all the rest of the day, missing good weather, day-drinking, wake-and-bake, and a long lingering campfire that never really goes out.
This house, the joilie d’maison or whatever was still not exactly that house that is up our block since while there was indeed the Townies of Guitarville, the majority of those behaving badly were doing so in that time off or on or between such studies as pertains the title and level of middle class, functional or not in society but understanding certain tropes of literature and devices of the arts and all together enjoying either a spate of behaving badly or at least the parts of a larger society that fall off at the edges, but are yet old enough, crusty enough, or brain dead enough to be noticed in the Rumspringa of middle-class whelps. The whelps still talked of high art, literature, spiritual, the Great Questions even if the answers did not really answer those Questions except to satisfy a certain arch in the narrative of the night and create a much needed lull in which to pause, to sip, to kiss, and to look at that fire in the fireplace, die into embers before we gathered our sullied rags, cardboard, to push a pallet and perhaps steal a moment with some soft and kissable other.
No, the party house up the hill from me is not even that place. It lacks all love. It is desperation. The riddle on the Snapple bottle is the conversation. The gloaming passes, the golden hour, but each one shouts and waits their turn to shout again. It is a dire and perhaps truly American experience. Chock full of welfare perhaps. A sign of the liberal coddling perhaps? A sign of the conservative dog-eat-dog world perhaps? Institutional racism perhaps? Whatever the causality Divine, Nader Made, or the fault of some happenstance, there is graft and theft and these are the people who buy beer with the benefits card of some girl. A collection, I bet, to a man, to a penis, have bad backs tossed out in some work-related moment and forever unable to take employment whether office desks or lifting more than their disabled sticker as they park their dulie at the Walmart in order to gather whiz-cheese and nicotine cola, micro tots and fry-o-butter rum crisps. Perhaps I don’t like the music emitting from this house. Or I am now too old. Or not high enough. Drunk enough. Or something something race-class-gender(tm) enough.
Or, there is something deeply wrong with out society and this is but a canker sore that is obvious on the otherwise perfect lips of progress, society, and community. There have always been drunks, derelicts, and William Burroughs. Pederasts and Punks. Just the other night I was watching some of Nights of Cabiria, and those people were desperation and puke, even if they were slightly sexy because they still spoke Italian and very chic since, come on, it was a black and white Fellini film forfucksake! I was on a roof top. In Gothem. With the Creative Class.
The police have come around more to the squishy and rotting party house now that Billy or Tyrone or Hu Chi was bashed in the face. The party house is rather dim these days, just shouting children here and there and at strange hours, but the noise and din of those wicked who are eternal in German woodcuts but not as quaint wearing teeshirts and jorts. The real party, that low of ember smoke and cheese dinner drying on the counter seem to have moved on. To another squat, another slum lord landfill.
I do not frequent those places. I frequent my own. And then post YouTube Videos of these affairs since, we know in the Pantheon of Parties, no Party God is created equal. And even on my cardboard pallet, I would be only with those others as I.
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