Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Large greasy/smelly guy would have been a welcome addition to the population of two Jeremy was now contending with – himself being one of the two. Just when things couldn’t get creepier, here was a balding guy with gym shorts and a tank top. His eczema covered hands and psoriases covered elbows accentuated the fact he was sticking to the “guy on guy” selections. Not that Jeremy had a problem with homosexuality and those who chose that lifestyle, but something told him there was a whole lot more going on with this guy than just a simple sexual preference. On top of it, he hadn’t seen the him the whole time he’d been in the store and wondered how much time the guy had already spent in here. Each second he remained in this alternate universe was one second too long and he would have to get in and get out with minimal time allowed for thinking.
SIDE NOTE: Unless you’re going to a “sex shop” to get your pornography, the vast majority of adult title renters are relegated to these narrow walk-in closet sized areas that are wallpapered with titles ranging from “Temple of Poon” to “Where The Boys Aren’t 5” to “Two Dicks, One Chick” to “Fuck My Asshole, Please!” (hey, at least she said please)… with the amount of hardcore coming out of the North Valley how is one suppose to wade through the swampy selection of emission based entertainment and know what you were getting. The truth is you didn't - you could wind up with the “Citizen Kane” of porn titles as you could some back alley piece of crap that would recycle the same shot of a fourth rate Ginger Lynn faux kissing a sixth rate Nina Harltey’s squeezebox over and over and over in order to stretch the scene to fifteen minutes… this is the gamble porn renters took.
Jeremy’s job was made slightly easier by the fact that he liked his porn one way – all chicks – and Video Dreams was nice enough to organize their adult titles with the same respect they showed for their mainstream ones, and each style/fetish/or whatever you want to call it was broken down by their genre. He only needed to look down to find the “All Girl” area, which took up only two shelves. Meanwhile, Eczema Psoriases Sr. was painstakingly reading the description on the box titled “Ram Rod”. For a moment, Jeremy feared eye contact was about to go down. The blinders went up and Jeremy briefly dreamed about how great life was going to be once he got out of there. But for now, he would do as he always did. Find a title that sounded hot, and not too familiar, so as not rent something he had already seen – unfortunately, the similarity in titles could lead to the error.
“All Girl Dildo Party: Volume 2” seemed like a good bet. With a running time of four hours there was bound to be the use of the recycled shots, but given it was a compilation film the odds were in Jeremy’s favor there would be some good stuff (clearly this filmmaker was the Michael Cimino of porn and this was his Heaven’s Gate). Jeremy would pull another magician like sleight-of-hand by placing the sordid title in between Amanda Peterson and Daffy Duck thereby allowing him to walk freely throughout the store without anyone noticing what he had done. Hocus pocus and abracadabra – and the tape was now masterfully concealed between to the two socially redeemable selections. It was time to get out while the getting was good.
As Jeremy turned for the saloon doors he was once again confronted with E.P. Sr. who was clearly still entrenched in his research of the cockestry arts, however he had now moved to another area of the “man love” section and was obstructing the once clear path back to the real world. Jeremy would have to negotiate his exit through the narrow room so as not make physical contact… a cardinal sin of the adult title section. Jeremy took a quick breath and held it – he made his move towards the exit, coming within centimeters of the ointment-starved skin of the guy. Centimeters became millimeters as E.P. Sr. to the tenth power adjusted to make room, but only made matters worse – Jeremy could feel the ghost-like contact they had made – or hadn’t made. Whatever it was, it was too close for comfort, Mr. Rush.
And then there was a brief calm as Jeremy noticed he was now standing outside the adult section, his three VHS tapes in hand. He wasn’t sure what finally got him through the doors, but his brain and instinct had clearly taken over to get him through the traumatic experience. Whatever the case, he had now emerged and was ready to tackle the final phase of his mission… the check out… Granted, returning of the tapes could be considered part of the mission, but with a night drop being readily available at Video Dreams this was merely a formality. Jeremy could sit in his car, wait until no one was in sight and then drop the tapes in the slot.
This was the moment he feared the most, because it involved an unavoidable human interaction In order to get his prized possession home, it would have to get scanned and paid for up-front – and could even require the exchanging of dialogue.
To Be Continued...
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Glancing up he quickly took in the geography of the store just to make sure there hadn’t been any changes. To left, where it always was, was the shelf touting new releases, while to the right was the vast library of older video selections categorized by different genres – the video dream as it were. Further towards the back sandwiched between Horror and Classic Cinema was a pair of saloon style doors that lead to “another” section, an all too familiar layout for the video stores of the time. And for those not in the know, a sign reading “18 & Over ONLY” pasted to the old timey doors made it clear what was going down.
Jeremy quickly broke left to the shelf of new releases and started scanning the titles. His eyes glancing over “Adventures in Babysitting” and quickly spotting “Can’t Buy Me Love.” It didn’t take long to make the choice. Amanda Peterson was hotter than Elizabeth Shue as far as he was concerned, besides this was just the means to an end. Phase one was now complete and no one suspected a thing. He had often gotten hung up as to what new release to rent, so he was glad there was at least something he could settle on right away. Feeling good about the way his mission was going, he was able to muster up the courage to give a little look around the place, even acknowledging a fellow customer or two – he was blending in. To misquote Han Solo in “Star Wars”, “Don’t get cocky, Jeremy.”
As casual as could be, Jeremy glided through the store and into the aisles of “dreams”. Video Dreams had the selection… if you were looking for rare foreign films or hard to find imports, this was the store. Jeremy came upon the horror section and blankly examined the titles. The sound of the now nearby saloon doors squeaking open grabbed his attention and a rather large man (a little on the greasy/smelly side) entered the forbidden zone. Jeremy could feel his heart beating hard - all that was missing was Tex Avery drawing it physically pulsing through his skin.
To ease his nerves, he quickly went back to the faux scanning the horror titles. He immediately went to titles he’d gone for in the past. However, it would be too much of a giveaway. He wasn’t much of a horror fan to begin with and knew he wouldn’t watch whichever title he pulled anyway. And since there were a few minutes to kill, he thought it would be best to shift over to the Classic Cinema section and see what’s cooking. After all, there is no reason he couldn’t class up his film knowledge with the likes of a classic John Ford or Cassavetes film – he did have aspirations of working in show business, so why not make it an educational trip as well. However, before he could settle into selecting something with panache… there was a VHS of classic Daffy Duck cartoons that was just too hard to resist. He loved “Duck! Rabbit, Duck!”, so why not?
Just as he pressed the Daffy Duck VHS against Amanda Peterson as she was piggybacking a young Patrick Dempsey, that familiar saloon door squeak returned and greasy/smelly large guy shifted sideways as he made his way out through the porn doors, triple X in hand – the world began to move in slow motion as Jeremy stared in awe at the laissez-faire attitude this guy had – He was the Gandhi of porn renters clearly not giving two shits as to who knew what he was up to. Emerging from its depths with not one, but TWO tapes filled with Chatsworth’s finest offerings, the guy shuffled toward the check out counter sipping on his Orange Julius without a care in the world. Jeremy could have continued to stare but a choice now had to be made.
Could an adult section entrance move be this easy? The bridging of these two worlds was normally something that required charts, wormholes, and the altering of the space/time continuum, or at least it always felt that way to Jeremy. But fate brought him an unexpected surprise as the weight of greasy/smelly large guy pushed the saloon doors wide enough where it took a big swing back and forth and one man’s lack of need for privacy is another man’s defensive lineman.
Jeremy ascertained he could slip inside without even making physical contact with the semen-coated doors. His video wet dreams aside, Jeremy still had to contend with his germ phobic tendencies and while he could account for his own hygienic abilities when it came to his pre and post ejaculate clean up, he couldn’t speak for others and had to make the assumption they didn’t take the same pride their cleanliness – there would be much hand washing in the next twelve hours, but that was part of the ritual, so it didn’t phase him.
Right now the stars were aligned, deflector shields were down, and all systems appeared to be “go”. The large greasy/smelly dude created a front line of defense that would allow Jeremy to enter undetected. And just as quick as he devised this last minute audible he was executing the plan and in the blink of an eye he was gone. Vanished like a magician pulling the teleportation bit. He had just pulled off the most amazing slight of hand and could remain in the fortress of porn as long as he wanted and no one know… In reality, no one cared, but play back the security camera tapes and that porn section swing door move was one for the history books.
TO BE CONTINUED....
Aside from the mild amusement this thought gave him it didn’t really matter, because Vinetura was Mecca to Jeremy. Vinetura Strip Mall laid claim to the Holy Grail as far as he was concerned. The Prelude drifted into an empty parking spot and Jeremy’s eyes widened slightly as he took in the pink neon reflecting off his windshield.
The sign at “Video Dreams” was a masterpiece of ‘80s design; hot pink neon with cursive writing, along with a movie theatre inspired marquee listing all the new releases, let patrons know this was the place for all of your VHS rental needs. And if that wasn’t enough the slogan “every video you could dream of” drove it home.
Jeremy shut the engine and the Poison concert in his head came to an end… there would be no encore. Brett, CC, and the boys would have to wait - Jeremy had more important things to focus on. It was time for his ritual to begin. He may have physically been just getting out of the car, but his brain was already in and out of the store and back home safe in his bachelor womb.
Stepping towards the front door he led with a confident PUSH, but the door didn’t budge and instead made horribly loud rattle. Loud enough where people inside the store turned to see what the commotion was. A robbery? A fight? A bomb? Nope, just a poor schmuck who couldn’t seem to read the sign that says “PULL”. This was not a good start for Jeremy – he had been to this store on numerous occasions and could never quite get the door situation down. In fact, he was convinced that each week the manager must have been changing the hinges so he would never get it right – the asshole. It was clear though, Video Dreams was fast becoming Jeremy’s nightmare.
To be continued...
While most were in search of that cinematic Friday night party experience, like the crew of peroxide blonde Valley girls dancing in the seats of their white Volkswagen Rabbit convertible to Bobby Brown’s “My Prerogative”, Jeremy had other plans as he pulled on to the boulevard and cruised past.
Even though his red Honda Prelude was only a year and a half old the air conditioning never quite blew cold enough and so Jeremy had to contend with a lukewarm 78 degrees as he approached Laurel Canyon Blvd. It didn’t matter, he was used to it and he was more focused on singing along to Poison’s “Fallen Angel” that was playing full blast – Unfortunately, these full volume affairs were a common occurrence and he blew the speakers out after only a few months of getting the car – the song now sounded like it was playing through a wind tunnel inside an echo chamber outside an airport -- But Jeremy didn’t seem to care - in his head he was on stage at Universal Amphitheatre with Brett and the boys.
“Win big--Mama's fallen angel
Lose big--livin' out her lies
Wants it all--Mama's fallen angel
Lose it all, rollin' the dice of her life”
Just three hours earlier, before leaving work from SUPER Pie Pizza Palace, he had been offered the chance to hang with some fellow co-workers which would entail getting drunk and trying to scam chicks – a fairly normal social experience for someone of Jeremy’s nineteen years, but he knew better of his abilities to follow through on that wet dream. He knew the odds were against him – he knew because in that instant every moment he had ever faced in trying to close a deal with a girl flashed before him – the vision of him sitting across from a member of the opposite sex nervously trying to ascertain if she wanted him to go in for the kiss – he just never knew what to do with himself. He had no game, so he knew the night would most likely end in another solo voyage home, so why bother… at least for tonight. Historically, for the last year since he moved out on his own after graduating from High School, this was usually the more fulfilling evening – at least for now and until he loses his virginity.
While on the outside Jeremy was singing, the inside was a different story - he was mentally preparing for what was about to go down… this was something that always required finesses, discretion, and most of all, the ability to not pass out from the adrenaline rush. There was no avoiding what he had to do in order to get what he wanted. It was only a matter of time....
-- Stay tuned for Part 2
Yes, jealous… jealous of what you ask? Or maybe not – maybe you could care less. But I’m here today to talk of my jealously of people… No, not people who need people. Jealous of people who have the ability to lose themselves in a moment -- whether it is at a concert, a karaoke bar, or a TGIFridays Happy Hour. People who appear to be enjoying a euphoric experience with others without fear of judgment.
I used to judge people like that and dismiss them as depressed individuals who run towards happiness as they cling to a cheap pitcher of Margs and the song "Taking Care of Business" like it was the only piece of happiness they could experience before returning to the misery awaiting them on their drive home. "How sad" I would say to myself. I assumed these people were probably working miserable jobs and doing what they could to enjoy every moment of their time away from the grind. How dare they – I would think these people didn’t get it… happiness couldn’t be found at happy hour. No, these individuals who could let their hair down and just enjoy life must be the ones missing out on reality... I couldn't be the one with the problem -- I've got too healthy a view of the world.
But wait… what if it is me? I’m not saying some of those Happy Hour Margartiaville Mavens aren't off their rocker, but who am I to judge? Where do I get off determining who is truly happy in this world and who isn't. I think it has something to do with the need for understanding -- we're scared of things we can't understand, so to label it and affix a definition to it is to put it in its rightful place, so it can't harm us. So, if I lack the ability to lose myself in a moment, it's not me with the problem it's Long Tall Sally on the karaoke machine at Golden Monkey who belts it to the rafters with her drunk co-workers as they perform their Corona infused version of The Pointer Sisters "Neutron Dance" who has the problem… Guess who must be full of shit? Ding Ding Ding -- it's me :)
I thinks this is part of the reason I use to enjoy writing screenplays - I could create a world and characters who behaved in a way I only wish I could – In a movie, the underdog always gets his moment to shine and prove the world wrong (wax on/wax off). I think I'm still waiting for that moment.
Now, I don’t write this next part to tug at your heartstrings – these ramblings are meant to be entertaining. And I don’t want you to think that just because I’m sharing this that I somehow sit in a state of utter sadness 24/7. I have a lot of happiness (in fact, I’m really enjoying writing these things)
The simple fact is I am judgmental because I’ve spent my whole life being judged… hmmmm, that’s not right either. I spent most of my young life and some of my adult life being judged and the fear of that judgment has carried into my adult life. What's worse - I've allowed myself to be judged. Long story short – or I could say Longstreet story… short. I was short, small, puny, a runt, whichever words you want. Growing up I didn’t fit in. And I was immature on top of it. When I was a senior in High School I was 5’3” and literally looked like I was 12 – my voice hadn’t even fully changed (I’m not exaggerating). I did not fit in and so I over compensated in my search for acceptance, which in turn alienated myself even more from the pack. Trying too hard is a turn off. Yes, I did have friends, but you catch what I’m throwing by now.
I was insecure - every time I was singled out by my peers as being different it stuck with me and I began to second-guess my instincts. So, I became hyper-aware of myself, cautiously controlling every move I made for fear of judgment (thinking as many steps ahead as I could as to control my fate)… now there are a lot of nuances to this and things from my home life that contributed as well, blah blah blah… but there’s only so much I can rehash. And the point of this is to end on some sort of uplifting note because the fact that I can have these moments of clarity is actually a good thing. I’m trying to be a better person here people.
Nowadays, while I still have difficulty “cutting loose” (some call it uptight) – I really enjoy people who seem to enjoy themselves without a hint of trepidation…
I stand before you reader with this vow – I will try harder to live in the moment and not worry about 20 steps ahead (except in my work because that’s what makes me good at it) – I’m talking about when I’m out and about whether I’m alone, with friends, or family. I will try to enjoy myself organically (and not manufacture it). I will try… it won’t be easy, but I will try to learn how to “be”…
I think I can do it. I’m already thinking ahead at all the living in moments I’m going to do in the coming weeks… is that wrong? :)
Keep on rockin' it!
Ooooooooooohhhhh fucking great shirt – what you do to me. You know just what I like. I salivate over you the way Homer lathers up the salivary glands for a donut. When it comes to clothes, it’s all about the shirt… A FUCKING GREAT SHIRT.
And they are soooooo hard to find. You know the ones I’m talking about. The ones that feel like someone gave a shit when they made it. When it comes to t-shirts there is nothing better than that 100% cotton masterpiece as you put it on and it just lies perfectly against your skin. The short sleeves kissing the arm as if to say “don’t worry that you have no real defined muscle tone, I’ll create the illusion of strength by snuggling up to the triceps and biceps and cradle it like a baby…. Coochie coochie coo.
But more often than not the pendulum swings the opposite way and the sweatshop in Taiwan that pays minus two dollars an hour cranks out shirts with a hip hop Tasmanian Devil on it and whose sleeves couldn’t give a shit about you or your need for a love life. You know the sleeves I’m talking about… It’s like having a pair of God damn dragon wings sewn on like you're about to take flight and battle Gandalf (Nerd reference). And who is determining sizes these days – there is nothing worse than picking up a Large and it’s more like XXXL to the tenth power (I call them the Hometown Buffet Middle America can’t get enough of those Nacho specials and don’t forget the extra cheese and jalepenos) – THAT AIN’T NO FUCKING LARGE, Der Kommissar!!…
I’ve recently come into some weight loss, so I’m very excited by the prospect of some new shirts (I recently picked up a couple Rag & Bone tees and to quote Damone “I think I came” – “hey, that Damone is a real loud mouth” but I digress). But that’s how good these things feel and look…
Here’s the thing though. I think I could have gone down a size but I’m still mustering up the courage. When it comes to sizes I’m trying to figure out am I medium or a large. I’m sort of in this no-mans-land where I think I could go medium because I’ve dropped like 15-20 pounds, but the only problem is my abs are fucking depressing (like Jello inside a pillow case, so going medium will only show off my side of beef fat I’m smuggling - I mean, it’s still better than the pot roast I was rocking), but what do I do? I’m convinced there is medium tee out there that is the answer to my prayers… I dream about you medium tee… “I’ll be waiting, I love you.”
Maybe I should start PerfectTshirt.com where you can go on and find the perfect shirt.
- I am a 5’10” male of average-to-sad build and enjoys shirts with ironical expressions. Jerk Shirts need not apply.
And then shirts can go on and find their perfect match… what the? That’s impossible, Greg – shirts don’t know how to use computers much less a dating website.
Where was I? Ah yes, the shirt… the lovely tee --- but I’ve gushed over thee long enough – there is also nothing better than a button up shirt that compliments the torso – some are just cut masterfully… but let’s stop there because there are only so many ways I can talk about a great shirt a not get dull… if I don’t stop, I’ll start praising the social relevance of the mock-turtle… and we wouldn’t want that.
I put it to you the reader. You know I’m right about this – In our closets we have shit loads of shit clothes that for one reason or another worked for a second – whether it looked good in the bullshit department store mirror and then let you down when you got home --- or even worse… those shirts that start off looking great, but one washing and kaput! In the closet they go to die a slow death. BUT!!!!! We all have those few shirts we covet… ooooooohhhhhh - you know the shirt I’m talking about. The one you always wear when you go out to try and get fucked. It’s that shirt that makes the cut when you’re packing for Vegas.
Pants do play a role in all this, but let’s face it – at least for guys, you can get away with a lot when it comes to pants – it’s the shirt that makes the man. And I am a man, so I’m not go to try and pretend I know how it is for the ladies.
What I wouldn’t give for a closet full of perfect shirts. I believe the shirt is an art form – James Perse knows, Rag & Bone knows, Z Brand knows, Varvatos knows, Theory knows…. And so many more that are just waiting to be discovered… whoever you people are who are taking the time to get it right, I thank you and my puny biceps that look a little bigger in your shirts thank you. Keep living the dream because without you I’d look like a bigger piece of shit than I already am.
BRING BACK CHICKENSHIRT WHILE YOU’RE AT IT!!!!
I know there are many of us out there doing the best we can everyday and who are indeed trying to make the world a better place. HOWEVER, I think in order to do it successfully people need to do it and stop trying to get attention for it. I think the people who yell the loudest about the world’s woes are actually hurting their causes because it’s a turn off.
I am trying to make the world a better place through my children. By raising them to be the best possible people they can be and hopefully it will stick until they realize Mommy and Daddy are full of it. Then their real growing will begin. Beyond me just contradicting myself by writing that (because now I’m talking about it) I don’t talk about it – I just raise them. And when someone compliments me on how amazing they are, I smile and nod appreciatively – I don’t say “well, you know it’s because of me… blah blah blah” ---
All we can do as parents is give our kids the tools to build their lives. If I’ve done my job my kids will be able to navigate this landscape of life and do it in a way where they can wake up each morning and look in the mirror – knowing they’re doing the best they can and conducting themselves like decent human beings… I think there is a general lack of decency among people… I’m talking something as simple as waiting for people to exit an elevator before trying to step on...WTF?! It’s an extra 5-10 seconds out of your day to let people get off the elevator.
As much as I hate invoking 9/11, if society conducted itself everyday in the same manner they did in the weeks following that tragedy then the world could fix itself plain and simple… selfless acts of humanity right there for the world to see. Same goes for Katrina… Watching how the world comes together in the face of tragedy is inspiring, but why can’t it always be like that… because we’re a distracted people. Weekly Lotto Jackpots, Reality TV, and TGIFriday Happy Hours sound like a lot more fun then helping your fellow man… shit, I’m hungry right now thinking about that TGIFridays even though I know the food sucks.
I’m not going to go on much longer – I’ll save it for the next one. I know my writings can seem scattered – more like stream of consciousness, but I like seeing where my thoughts take me… look I had no idea I’d be dropping a 9/11 mention, so I’m just as surprised as you are.
If I can leave you with one inspiring thought tonight it’s this. Don’t be such a Potsi!
For worse I have believed that there was more than "I" -- the concept of "us" and "we" were things I strived for in life. I was a fool to believe these things were possible -- the only "we" in this world is one's own children and even with them many people are willing to cast them aside for their own interest.
On this I will not bend - I will always stand by my children - I will die for my children - but I will sadly watch as they come to learn that t-shirt phrases such as "world peace" do not amount to anything... they are promises that can never be achieved... They will come to learn life is not fair... end of story.
Ignorance surrounds us from the politician who supports a bill on behalf of his interest groups to the dude who tries to corner me outside of Whole Foods to engage me about pollution or prop 8 (they are important issues, but there has got to be a better way to garner support). The bottom line is - all are guilty... ALL...
We are a breed of us versus them and that will always end in war -- whether it's the physical act or the emotional one we face as we try to make it through another day... Everyone is out for one thing... Self and self alone.
I have always been afraid.. Afraid of my mom - my dad - my step-dad - confrontation - failure -- afraid of upsetting the balance -- of upsetting other people. Casting my own opinion aside in favor of the one that makes YOU happiest... God forbid I have enemies. I no longer care what anyone thinks of me... I work hard and do the best I can, but I refuse to continue to try and live by some unattainable standard that no one seems to care about in the first place -- I say "fuck you" to my mother and "fuck you" to my father, and "fuck you" to my step-father, and "fuck you" to the world that raised me -- I say "fuck you" to those who don't know how to treat others with decency and respect... but at the same time, my hand is outstretched and ready to talk. And BTW, those looking to make this about my current separation from my wife... keep walking (we're both doing the best we can and that's all I can ask for from both of us).
I do not write this as passing judgment on you the reader -- I really don't know you. I write this to me because I'm the one who has to wake up and look in the mirror -- and I will continue to wake-up every day and live my life better -- whatever better is -- I will find it.
I once lived in a world where I thought I would be rewarded in some way for the way in which I conducted myself -- it's bullshit...
Make your life and don't rely on others to make it for you... PERIOD --
Don't tell me about your great idea for a script... WRITE IT... don't tell me about the things you're going to do... DO THEM... don't waste my time with what might be possible... TELL ME WHAT IS POSSIBLE.
As my therapist would say -- my spring has sprung --
Nice to meet you, world ... My name is Greg Longstreet... I love you.