Category Archives: Life Lessons

Interview On Goodreads About # 1 Son And Other Stories!

Christine Sneed Interviewed me about my book #1 Son And Other Stories.



1. What inspired you to write these stories (which are based on true events)? Was the experience at all therapeutic? 
I had an English teacher in 9th grade who encouraged the class to journal every day, a diary of our daily experiences. He told us all it was confidential and was for his eyes only, and that he would grade for spelling and grammar only. I wrote of my experiences related to stealing, drug use, parties, alcohol, Quaaludes, mushrooms, coke, and working and stealing at my father’s auction gallery. This teacher helped set the stage for the prose and poetry that I would eventually write.
The stories in #1 Son are all based on true events; some of these events and conversations took place over the course of many years, but were combined to offer more character description, story resonance, and arc. Feel free to Google the details in this book or … ask my mom! She’s one of very few living eyewitnesses at this point.
I took a couple of writing workshops (and many improv classes) that helped me access a lot of this material as well. I barely finished high school and have no former schooling as far as writing goes. It just happened. It was cathartic, but it also brought up some trauma. And I mean real trauma. That’s a catchword that comes up frequently in today’s therapeutic and 12 step settings and I believe it’s lost its luster.
But where do you go if you grew up in the mix of drugs, porn, and violence? I’ll tell you where: hell on earth and unable to connect…On the other hand not facing all of this has brought me back to relapsing many times. So I did a lot of 12 step work and therapy, and continue to, I’m under no illusions that I’m healed, but I am on the road, way down the road of recovery….




#1 Son And Other Stories Is Available Now!


Also, check out my Interview with Marc Maron on his WTF podcast! (starts at 32:42)



Smokin’ Cigs & Talkin’ Shit


Mark Louie & Stevie on the patio of the Betty Ford Center. 1996


MARK: “Across the board, that Debbie is the worst counselor I’ve ever had, in any fucking rehab, that I’ve ever been in. Fucking hands down.”

LOUIE: “What do you want? She’s an ex-table dancer meth addict from Fontana.”

MARK: “Little fucking compassion would be nice, Jesus it’s like scared straight, the lifetime version with that broad.”

STEVIE: “You’re an alky and a crack head; the last thing you need is compassion. What? You want her to french kiss your cock.”

LOUIE: “Nah, Nah, Stevie, she talks to everybody like they’re shit. Fuck her with her cheap red shoes, swap meet Prada handbag. Bitch probably has a seven-year loan on that Lexus.”

STEVIE: “I’m here because my life is an absolute disaster from Oxy and Vodka. You think I give a Desert Hot Springs fuck about Debbie Carlucci and her fake handbag?”

MARK: “Yeah. You got a point; I’m really screwed if this doesn’t pan out. I’m homeless, jobless. Thank God for Motion Picture insurance. I wouldn’t be in this high-end daycare center.”

LOUIE: (ignoring MARK) “Fuck you Stevie, Don’t change the subject. Her husband looks Like a Sinaloa Cartel boss.”

MARK: “Yeah. I saw him the other Day. Looks shady, incidentally, at one point my mother was the head nurse at a rehab. And at the same time she was living with a big time coke dealer.”

STEVIE: “Really? No wonder why you’re so fucked up. Hey Louie, give me a cigarette. Those Export A’s are the fucking real deal!”

LOUIE: “They are also $8.00 a pack, buy your own you cheap fuck, mister garment industry mogul, you been bumming butts from me since the day you got here.”

STEVIE: “Awe. Poor Louie. Write about it in your journal or tell that half a fag of a counselor of yours. Maybe he’ll give you a tissue for your issue.”

LOUIE: (flipping off Stevie) “Yeah he seems a little light in the loafers, huh? All that lovey-dovey recovery shit gets on my nerves. He’s another one whose home life is probably twisted. Probably cruises hustlers on Santa Monica Blvd, after his shift.”

MARK: “Hey both of you listen for a minute. (He motions them both forward and speaks low) Mygirlfriendd stashed an ounce of blow in the care package She dropped off. I want to’ sneak over to the kitchen get some chore boy and baking soda.”

STEVIE & LOUIE: “What the fuck is a Chore Boy.”

MARK: “You know, screen to smoke coke with.”

LOUIE: “You kidding man?”

MARK: “Nope. My roommate paid for it. Said he wanted to try it. I was like, okay. He sent a check to my girlfriend for it. She drove out here and delivered it.”

LOUIE: “Fenix! Jesus! Did the check clear? I wouldn’t trust that guy.Post-traumatic Stress from ’Nam! Fuck man delusions of grandeur. Man, that dude is fucked up.”

MARK: “Yes the check cleared, forget about that. Can you guys cover me while I run over to the dining hall to round up my needs? I got needs.”

LOUIE: “I’m just saying, that guy is not playing with a full deck, as a matter of fact, ha, Jokers only, you know what I’m saying. Says he was in Nam, but he isn’t really even old enough. I did the math; he would have been fourteen years old at the peak of Nam. I gotcha Marky do what you need to do.”

STEVIE: “I ain’t covering for shit. I don’t want to hear about it again. Free basin’ in a rehab? With Fenix? That mental case, your gonna’ introduce him to the pipe! In a rehab! He’ll go batshit homicidal. Come on man! Are you fucking nuts!”

MARK: “Nope. Just an addict…like you.”

LOUIE: “Stevie. Don’t get all high and mighty, watch the attitude. You had your girl stash a quart of vodka in the bushes. You picked it up on the serenity walk and guzzled it down before the morning process group.”

STEVIE: “LOU! Why the fuck you ratting’ me out over here?”

MARK: “Really? And you’re judging me?”

LOUIE: “Now we both got something on you.”

MARK: “Fenix is cool man. He might have work for me if I can’t get my studio gig back. He’s part Cherokee; he raises Tundra Shepard’s for the CIA, guys Loaded! His family owns tons of property in Texas.”

LOUIE: “Bunch of horseshit. Guy was born with a silver spoon up his ass. His family has money; He’s still sucking on his mammy’s tit. What the fuck, he raises Tundra Shepards for the CIA. Man, you buying that bullshit?”

MARK: “I dunno what to believe anymore.”

STEVIE: “What’s that suppose to mean? The last person you trust is some asshole in a rehab, who has all these ideas and promises.”

Crack Rabbi

      I Met the Rabbi Shlomo for lunch at Yang Chow. He had driven here from Williamsburg, Brooklyn out of fear of his life. Now he was in Los Angeles. He had come to see me for solutions, answers, and a job. I tracked down Shlomo for a man named Avi. He was Shlomo’s brother in law, who by the way is an air conditioning salesman in Tarzana. Avi was deeply concerned about Shlomo’s crack riddled high jinx in Brooklyn. Months after leaving voice messages and unanswered calls, Shlomo finally called me back and was willing to try to stop doing drugs as long as he could come out to Los Angeles.

     Now he sat in front of me. Dirty-faced, rotting yellow teeth, and blistered burnt lips. He was rocking back and forth as though there was an invisible wailing wall that he was silently praying against.

He smelled bad and his habit smelled and looked as if it hadn’t been cleaned in weeks. His beard had little bald spots in it. And with his thumb and forefinger, he was creating more of these tiny patches of light. I had no doubt this tic was keeping him… somehow… sane?

     “Oh Hymie, the problems.” His lips and cheeks and eyes moved in many directions, like a character from the film Scanners. I imagined his head exploding very suddenly, and the staff just nonchalantly cleaning it up. I knew this place well. The staff was indifferent. It was always packed with guys that worked in the shmata district. Screaming and yelling, cell phones ringing and nickel and diming for fabrics, buttons, cutting and sewing and the micro minutia that make up a cheap suit, a button up, or a dress. So there Shlomo sat, nervously twirling his Payots curls with his right hand, picking small chunks of hair from his beard with his left and rocking back and forth.

I was patient. I know that he was probably high or coming down. I stopped using ten years ago but sometimes it feels like it was yesterday, I too freebased cocaine and shot heroine to come down. I’m not an alcoholic, but I don’t drink because a little Manischewitz might take me down to funky town. I’m clear as a bell ringing 5-0 double up on that one.

     The funny thing is most Jews aren’t alcoholics. Not in my experience anyway, and I’ve played the rehab circuit for years, Jewish rehabs too, from Beit T’Shuva to Chabad.

Kicking heroin and benzos were the hardest thing ever. Eppes with the cramps, the constant pain and the pins and needles really stabbing from inside out just physically devastating. The cocaine was purely psychological. Still, I don’t downplay the addiction to crack. Professionals I’ve spoken to have all come to the same conclusion, that smoking cocaine leaves a blueprint on your endorphins much the way an orgasm, sugar, or gambling, just increase that to the tenth power. Coke really opens the floodgates of those endorphins the recovery rate is about 1 in 10 for crack addicts

“What problems Shlomo?”

     The waitress brought our order, broccoli beef, lettuce cups, and orange chicken. “Sh, sh.” Shlomo motioned with his right hand. Then he seemed to be in deep thought, I knew a little bit about the situation, the problems. He was stealing money from the temple, and Jewish community programs. This was not such a big deal. Some Rabbis did this. Stealing it for crack, hookers, and hotels (oh my) that is a different story. “Hymie, it’s killing me! The money. What do I do? How do I return it?” I listened but was distracted by the orange chicken, it was real white meat chicken, not the grey mystery meat you find at most Chinese eateries. I managed to catch his remarks. “Don’t worry so much about the money,” I looked up at him earnestly. “The crack, the crack is the problem.”

“Oh but the crack.” I watched the Rabbi’s eyes light up. “The crack helps me, it takes away the pain, the guilt, and thoughts of a life of my lying bullshit while in the temple”

“I thought you liked the temple?”

“I do, but when I have a little bit of crack, some girls, it helps. My therapy, my own private Purim.” Now he was digging into the chicken.

“Stop, you are diseased by the thoughts. That’s the crack talking.” I was growing impatient.

“Crack talking, come, my friend, the crack does not talk. Disease? My friend, this is no disease, it is the cure for my problems,” he continued, “It makes me feel good, when I’m done, I drink a bottle of Manischewitz and sleep like a little baby.” He was so convincing.

“Sounds like you have it all figured out.” I didn’t know what else to say, he’s a tough case. Most addicts are. They have all the answers, but not a single clue. I’m a member of Cocaine Anonymous. I hear all the justifications.

“Don’t get smart with me, you know I need to make more money, clean up and figure out what I’m going to do.” Still twirling his curls, Shlomo picked up his soda. I noticed the burns on his fingers. The thumb and index finger were yellow and burnt from all the use and abuse. Hot pipes, screens, chore boy, a burning stem, all the trappings that come with being a slave to rock cocaine.

“What are you staring at?” Shlomo’s hands were shaking. “Nothing, your fingers.” I quickly changed the subject.

     “Tell me a little more about what happened out there in Williamsburg, what went wrong?” He let it all out. He told me about how he would drive around in his Station Wagon. His coat and hat had secret hiding places for the pipe, the chore boy, and spare king lighters. King lighters, they worked best. They had a big flame and you could get three for a dollar.

So there he was, in the Town and Country parading around Brooklyn. Donning habit, complete with Tzitzit, a small rocks tangled in his Payots, and pipes stuffed in his Yarmulke. He kept other pipes and chore boy stashed around the wagon for emergencies.

“Shlomo, slow down.” I pleaded.

“Oh God, I just remembered something.” His eyes were darting back and forth quickly. “Every time I took the first hit of the crack, I thought crazy things!  like the car, that it would explode Hymie!”

“Shlomo, listen.”

“No, Hymie, I thought the radio would burst into flames. I thought I would melt into the seat of the car!”

“Shlomo it’s called…” Shlomo interrupted, “But so every time I would hit the pipe, I’d run. Hit and run! Hit and run!”

“Shlomo it’s called cocaine psychosis. It’s common with crack smokers.” Shlomo kept rambling on. He was on a roll.

“Then I would find these girls, these hookers.’ He stopped for a minute, his face growing red with humiliation.

“I’d meet them at crack houses, burned out tenements in East New York, Bed-Sty, or a place I’d purchase the crack near Fort Green.” We both sat for a moment in silence.

“They loved me the Schwartzes.” Shlomo suddenly looked so full of himself, almost bragging.

“I always had cash and they never tried to rob me. They thought since I was a Rabbi, I was okay. Good as gold. A good Jew boy. Even the police, Hymie. When they pulled me over, I would use the same excuses over and over.” Shlomo gestured confidently.

‘What would you say?’ I was really interested now.

“Hymie, on the crack I would drive so erratically. I told them I was late to a Briss, a Bar Mitzvah, wedding, on and on. You know these police they’re so mean, but thank God they’re stupid Hymie, nonetheless, they do respect the Rabbi.” Shlomo continued “There were so many other problems in the neighborhoods I was in, they had more important things to worry about.”

“That’s amazing Shlomo, because your car is such a mess.”

“What mess, what are you saying Hymie?”

“Oh c’mon. The newspapers the posters, the clothes, the laundry, the grape juice, the Borscht, the Matzo, and all that Hazara.”

Shlomo quickly butted in, “Oh, that’s because I’m so busy.”

“Busy smoking rock?”

Once again the Shlomo was reminiscing about the past. He told me the really shocking stories. He continued to fulfill his obligations as a Rabbi in the temple while smoking crack. The most significant and unfortunate situation was the circumcision of little Lenny Lehroff. The Rabbi and Eli Lipshutz, the Moil performing the Briss (and also a crackhead) made a terrible mistake during the ceremony and 911 was called. There was a lot of blood and a botched circumcision, but Shlomo claimed it was fine. The Lehrhoff’s beg to differ and filed suit against the temple. It was even on the news. The Lehrhoffs also filed individual suits against Eli and Shlomo.

“Neither one of us has been served. Thank God.” The Rabbi was thinking out loud. The Rabbi and Eli left town, and had not seen each other since. So now I was harboring Shlomo, a Rabbi on the run.

“I will let you work with me downtown Shlomo, but no crack. No smoking crack.”

“I know I can do it.”

“I know you can do it too, but do we have an agreement Shlomo?”

I studied the Rabbi’s eyes closely and felt I was making a mistake.

“Yes, we have an agreement.”

I own a silk screening factory downtown near fifth and San Pedro. My biggest account was “Manny First”, a popular line of clothing in Japan. Shlomo worked in shipping and receiving. He mostly handled big outgoing orders for completed items. Shlomo had to look at hundreds and hundreds of Jeans and T-shirts printed with the ‘Manny First’ smiley face with a bandana on its head.

“It’s amazing what these Shmucks will pay for,” Shlomo said to me.

He did well there for 3 weeks, he really held up. He stayed off the drugs, went to the Cocaine Anonymous meetings, and still everyday was a test. Inside the factory was safe. The area around the building, that was a different story. The area was called Nickel Town for two rasons, the $5.00 rock and the location of it off 5th street. The building was totally surrounded by hookers, winos, hustlers, junkies, pimps, and crack dealers.

One day while Shlomo was sitting in his car eating a sandwich he lowered the visor to block the sun. He felt something bounce off his forehead and land in his lap.

‘Oh, what is this?’ He looked down in his lap and saw it, a crack pipe. He studied the pipe. It was a golden brown color packed with resin. There was a fresh piece of chore boy in the pipe as well. All at once, he was short of breath. Then he gagged, he farted, and his head raced. The thought of that one hit, the one hit wonder as Eli called it, really opened the floodgates of his endorphins. He put the pipe in his pocket, along with the King lighter he kept for sentimental purposes. “What should I do? Oh God, give me the answer.”

He snuck off to the bathroom in the warehouse. He pulled his pants down and sat down in the stall. He farted again in anticipation, and then he shit. He took the pipe out of his pocket. He studied it. Spoke to it.

“Oh, how I missed you.”

He took a small screwdriver out of his shirt pocket. He kept it for repairs around the factory, but now it was paraphernalia, a pipe pusher. He slowly pushed the chore boy through the pipe, getting every crumb of resin. The chore boy was now almost even with the other side of the pipe. His hands started shaking, he gagged. He farted and shit again.

“Oh, God this is too much.”

He held the pipe at an angle so none of the resin would spill out. He held the pipe to his lips, pulled the lighter out, and lit it. Nice flame he thought, king lighters, the best. He drew out all his breath. Then he did it, He took the hit slow and long. He held it deep in his lungs. Next, he squeezed his nostrils together and rocked back and forth while he sat on the toilet. This was a ritual he had learned since the very first time he smoked crack.

“Make every hit count, Rab. It may be your last.” Said one of the many prostitutes he had sex with. Then he let it out slowly through his nose, so slowly. It was good. There was a heavy buzzing sound. Familiar. There was an internal numbness. Familiar, and good. He flushed the toilet, he heard a deep bubbling below him. This, not familiar. Paranoia set in quick.

“What is that? Oh no!” He thought about the explosions, the bubbling got louder. “Please God, No.”

The toilet water suddenly shot upwards, like a volcano. His shit, along with everybody else’s showered his lap and splashed all around. His chest and lap was covered in excrement and pieces of toilet paper.

“My god an explosion, it really happened. What have I done?”

He ran out of the bathroom, pants down and mortifed. He was still clutching the pipe like it was the only thread left to his sanity. This is where I stepped into the situation.

“Hymie! Hymie! Help me, the toilet, it really exploded!”

He ran through the factory tripping twice on his pants. He was peppered in sewage, smelling like a port a pottie tipped over on him. His stench permeated the air everywhere in the factory.

‘Shlomo, pull up your pants!’ I noticed the pipe that somehow stuck out, even behind the blanket of excrement.

“What is that in your hand?” The factory was so quiet.

The pipe dropped from Shlomo’s hand with an innocent-sounding clink on the concrete. “Forget about my hand, my pants, Christ Hymie the toilet exploded!’” The workers couldn’t hold their laughter. Ink mixers gagged from the stench.

“You can’t smoke crack here Shlomo. What’s wrong with you, what about our agreement?” I was pissed off, at myself, at Shlomo, at the disease of addiction in general.

“Agreement, Shmeement. Look at me, covered in crap! Like I’m some Bellview meshugga mental patient.”

Now I was livid. “Get out, get out Shlomo!”

“But Hymie, the toilet, please.” Shlomo pleaded. I had my fist balled.

“Shlomo, fuck the toilet. Get out of my warehouse.”

Shlomo walked out of the warehouse, pants still down around his ankles. Then he stopped in his tracks and had a startling revelation. It was the first time he only took one hit and didn’t so desperately crave another. Maybe there was a chance.

‘Lude & Lathargic

Loaded, drunk, and talking teenage shit. Every day. That’s what we did. Just a blurry contorted reality. Surrounded by what looked like an E-ticket ride of the lowest uncommon denominator, which is my favorite.

Hollywood High. We sat on the concrete wall, on the corner of Sunset and Orange.

It was the designated smoking area of the high school.

We marveled at the pimp and hooker and activity across the street at the hotel.

Just weeks ago it was illuminated with lights and cameras. They were shooting a movie with George Segal and Denzel Washington. ‘Carbon Copy’ was the film. I walked over to the set and slurred to George Segal how much I loved Omega Man. He thanked me. We stood and looked at each other for a moment, then I turned and stumbled away.

I was ‘luded or on loads and drunk most of the time. I would leave school for lunch and trip around Hollywood Boulevard smoking cigs, eating Two Guys from Italy Pizza or cheap Chinese food, and flirt with the tourist at Graumann’s Chinese theater. Once in a drunken state, I walked onto a big tour bus filled with Asians and screamed, ‘TOURIST GO HOME AND LEAVE YOUR DAUGHTERS!’

They all took pictures of me. I felt like a star until the driver grabbed me and threw me off the bus.

One morning I stole a full bottle of ‘ludes from my mother’s boyfriend. I ate two and I’m really numb. Dave Petrie comes up and asks me if I’m stoned.

Dave is always asking me this question and never has his own drugs. ‘Yeah man, I took two of these.’

I got a pocket full of quaaludes and everything is all right.

‘Shh, Mr. Munhall will hear you.’ He says.

I hand him two Lemmon 714’s. He chews them up, and then he swallows them.

‘These taste nasty.’ Making a lemon face.

‘Wow Dave, Those are going to hit you quickly.’

Ten minutes later we’re watching a film on single cell amoebas and the like.

Dave whispers, ‘Man, I’m coming on like I drank a six-pack.’

‘Yeah. These things are fucking magical. It is like a beer buzz, without the beer belly.’

‘Wow. These things are fuckin’ cool.’

Munhall looks over at us. He’s sitting at his desk with a penlight in his mouth looking over some papers.

‘Shh, be quiet Dave, fuck man. Shut up.’ I say.

‘Mike, I want to walk around on these things. I got to Get UP.’

‘NO, just sit and enjoy Dave.’ I hate this guy right now, he’s classic blow it case type shit.

‘Fuck that.’ Dave is restless.

Munhall is staring at us now. He has the penlight pointed at dave.

I’m really buzzing. My whole body is numb and the narrator of the film isn’t making any sense. The film is scratched and pops occasionally like a cap gun.

Dave stands up and attempts to walk behind the projector. Munhall follows him with the penlight Dave’s face looks curious, tragic and happy all at once.

I try to grab him. Munhall quickly shines the penlight on me, I quickly pull my arm back. He puts the micro spotlight back on Dave. He stumbles, reaches the projector for support.

It tumbles sideways. Dave goes down with it, Munhall follows him with the penlight. I watch the amoeba change shape slightly.

It shoots across the wall – the image is gone with a loud crash.

The lights go on immediately. New environment. Paranoia.

‘Dave? Dave? Are you all right,’ Says Munhall, whom, by the way, also teaches physical education. Now all eyes are on Dave.

Munhall is a heavy set guy who always wears tight white polyester shorts, has tree trunk coach legs and a potbelly.

I imagine he has a La-z-boy chair and a big color console television in his living room and random trophies in a special cabinet. I also Imagine his wife is totally subservient, she serves him fatty meats and Coor’s beer.

Dave gets up and stumbles. He mumbles something incoherently.

He falls on Michelle Tanner’s desk, she is disgusted with everyone and everything, but particularly Dave.

‘Ewwww!’ she cries bluntly while falling back in her chair while simultaneously holding herself.

Dave is on his belly on the desk. He’s swimming in the air trying to gain his footing. His Converse can’t converse. Like a robot that has fallen sideways, or doing space work like a bad vaudeville act. The whole class is quiet and I start laughing uncontrollably like a Tommy gun.

‘Ah ha ha ha ha, ah ah ah ah ah ah!’ My eyes are tearing and I’m ready to piss my pants. Now Munhall is livid and red-faced he screams, ‘SILENCE!’

I can’t stop laughing and crying. My side hurts, even with all the

methaqualone in my 15-year old body.

I feel his beefy hand on my shoulder and he smells like Brylcreem,

and old spice. I hear his angry voice in my ear,

‘Marcus, God damn it. Shut up.’ I was looking out the window

suddenly wishing I were walking on Hollywood Boulevard skateboarding or bogie

boarding at Zuma, anywhere, but here.

I would like another Quaalude. Munhall walks up to Dave.

Dave is now laying face down on top of Michelle’s desk, he’s given up

the swimming routine. He’s splayed over the little desk table, he

looks dead or passed out and she’s leaning back in horror.

Munhall puts the beefy hand on Dave’s shoulder (which I’m sure has

some sort of death grip if provoked).

There is a long pause.

‘Dave. Are you on medication? Hello? Dave?’

It’s church mouse quite and I’m hoping Dave is passed OUT.

It feels like an eternity, and then,

‘No, I just wanted to get up. I wanted to…’ he’s slurring bad.

‘Dave are you are you on drugs? Have you been consuming alcohol?’ He makes his way to his feet,

‘Yes, Marcus gave me some pills.’

‘Is this true, Mr. Marcus?’

‘I don’t know what Dave is talking about,’ slurring a little. I hated maintaining so much when I was loaded. I look over at Michelle for support she looks back at me with her face contorted, as if she literally smells bullshit, she’s sneering. I flip her off.

‘I think you both need to go see Mr. Whitehead.’ Now he’s writing out referral slips.

‘Why?’ I’m sitting at my desk, hands folded back erect.

‘Because I think you’re both on drugs.’ He says staring me dead in the eyes.

‘This is a bullshit!’ I yell, pointing my finger to the heavens.

A few students laugh, with me, or at me, it doesn’t matter at this point. Mr. Munhall hands me the slip. I get up out of my desk. I hold the slip at my side shaking my head back and forth. We exchange looks and I stop at the door and then I address the whole class.

‘This is total bullshit.’

Mr. Munhall starts walking toward me. I’m sure he’ll punch me. ‘Fine, I’ll go.’

‘I’m going home,’ says Dave.

We both walk out.

‘Dude. You fucking snitch. You piece of shit!’

He starts to run. I run after him, Munhall grabs me from behind, and Dave is gone. He escorts me to the Principal.

As we’re walking up the hallway I pass the multi-purpose room. I open the door and look in. Craig McKean is sitting by himself staring at the ceiling.

‘Craig McKean,’ I say in my best Irish brogue trying to imitate his Father.

He slowly looks my way and I know he’s on something because like me, he’s always on something. His lips move but I have no idea what he’s saying. He moves his hand back and forth. He’s staring at his hand. He’s on mushrooms or acid or maybe dust? He keeps moving his lips and nothing is coming out.

‘MARCUS, GODAMMIT,’ I turn and look back Mr. Munhall is standing in the doorway of the admin office with balled fists.

I walk past him and go straight in.

Mrs. Kratzel, the assistant principal looks me up and down with disgust and asks me to take a seat.

She seriously has the yester-year looks of an Aryan schoolmarm and a slight German accent. Sharon accused her of being a dike once. Nervousness set in, I need another ‘lude. I didn’t swallow and with a mouth full of spit I snuck a pill out of my pocket and put it into my mouth.

‘Uh, Michael’ Mr. Whitehead said as he stood in front of me. He seemed to appear out of nowhere. He was wearing tight beige polyester pants and a grey velour sweater vest. This was worn over a puffy sleeved yellow shirt. So I laughed.

‘This isn’t funny, give me the referral slip.’

We walked into his office at the same time and we both get stuck in the doorjamb.

‘Ha, ha, like all in the family.’ I say.

Mr. Whitehead looks really serious and points a finger at the chair in front of his desk.

‘I don’t want to hear about All In The Family. Where is Dave Petrie?’

‘I don’t know, he just walked outta’ class, he left, just like that.’ Now Whitehead is pissed, he has white dry spittle around the corners of his mouth and he is sneering.

I giggle and he shifts in his chair.

‘This isn’t funny Marcus, you could be expelled for dealing drugs.’ Now I’m paranoid and pissed. I didn’t sell that asshole those ludes, but Whitehead doesn’t even know that.

‘I didn’t sell anyone anything.’

We look at each other for what seems like an eternity and he raises he hand in a gesture of dismissal. Marcus, I don’t want to see you again. I breathe a sigh of relief.

That’s right Whitehead, Petrie’s trippin’ around the gym, the track field or somewhere in Hollywood,

but not here to rat on me again.

I walk out of the admin building to my next class. History class. There is a film in progress, something about Columbus. I nod out on my desk and wake up in a puddle of my own spit.

Billy Joe Johnson Kicked My Ass In Third Grade (1972)

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Victoria Elementary School. I was on the Monkey bars. Just hanging there. Billy Joe Johnson walks up and punches me in the stomach. Suddenly I felt silly in my sweater-vest and Sears Toughskins. I drop to the ground, doubled over. I feel him over me. He had just done the same to Jimmy Bledsoe yesterday. Jimmy was a red-head, “Red on the head like the dick of a dog!” he said as Jimmy lay there crying. Now it as my turn.

“Umph, Shit! What you do that for?” I felt the tears coming but I held them back, I knew it would be a bigger scene if I cried. “Because you’re a brillo haired Jew faggot!” My mother is Irish catholic and my Father was Romanian Jew. Was I even really jewish? I stood up. I didn’t try to fight back. Right then the Gods sent a savior, Mrs. Kratzel. She didn’t witness the punch. “What’s going on here?” Billy Helped me up. “Marcus fell off the Monkey bars Mrs. Kratzel, I was helping him up.” He said, as he glared into my eyes. “Is this true Michael?” I nodded my head. I knew If i said anything, I would receive another beating, plain and simple. I walked away. “Mrs. Kratzel can we play smear the queer?” Mrs. Kratzer nodded her head, “yes but no tackling, I mean it!” I quickly walked away. I knew that I would get tackled. “Um Mrs. Kratzel can you help me with my SRA card assignment?” Any excuse to get away. “Sure michael, Meet me in the math lab.” I followed quickly behind her, grateful to miss out on today’s smear the queer playground nightmare.

Side Note. The use of the word “queer” is not homophobic in this game. It’s used as acatchy name to describe the game. The “queer” in this sense is just the kid who’s it. Because it’s completely voluntary to be the “queer”, and being the “queer” requires a certain amount of bravery, it is not used in the derogatory in this particular usage. That being said, if somebody is calling you homo or faggot, this meaning becomes null and void and you have every right to beat them within an inch of their life.

I sat in the comfort of the math lab, occasionally glancing out the window, quite a few kids were playing the game. Billy Joe had the ball, no one dared tackle him or even come near him. He forced the ball to Jimmy Wilson and immediately tackled him.

Side Note. Billy Joe Johnson (pictured above) in 2009, He wants people to know he’s a burglar, robber, white supremacist, gangster, drug addict and savage murderer who believes in Nazism and the power of Nordic hammer-wielding deity Thor. He is currently doing parole-less life in prison.

Vinnie The Guinea’s Rant

Fucking Joey exploded man! He flew into a rage after the Jets lost to New England. He fucking backhanded Maria, split her fucking lip! Supposedly Maria told him, ‘get a life, and your fucking emotional state of being when your teams lose is like a twelve-year-old girl.’

That was it, “BLAM!” Maria’s dad Sal, You know Sal, built like a brick shithouse, he was a wheelman for Fat Tommy, Sal Man! Ex-Marine fought in ‘Nam – killin’ zips in the wire. Had like a necklace of gook ears! Fucking Sal beat up 14 Puerto Ricans in the parking lot of Fucking Yankee stadium they tried to rob him. He found out about the back-hand Joey served up to Maria and like went over there after the game while Joey was watching 60 minutes, like some segment about that asshole who started Facebook that Zuckerjew fuck.

Anyway I mean he fucking rolled Joey out like cheap carpet! Maria had to beg, “Daddy Daddy, please!” He says, “Shut the fuck up, Maria! I’ll beat this Mother-less fuck within an inch of his shitty fucking life!” He laid into him, screaming things at him like at the same time “you wanna hit my baby you fucking bag of shit, HUH?! HIT ME, C’MON! You sorry fuck I’ll make you wish you was never fuckin’ borned!” Then threw him against a wall and fucked up all the wedding pics and family photos, and, to like make it even more fucked up and worser Joey went face first into Angela’s picture (you know Sal’s dead wife and Maria’s saint of a fucking mother, helped retarded kids and disabled old fuckers, you know dead by cancer.

But hey not for nuthin’ years ago they lived by the Fresh Kills Landfill dump on Staten Island, so…. But then like Sal was really like super pissed! “MY ANGELA!” He was like crying and screaming, “YOU FUCKING COCK SUCKER! LOOK WHAT YOU DID TO MY ANGELA!” He picked up that heavy leather footrest thing, ottomans, whatever the fuck, you know the one they bought from Roma D’Italia in Brooklyn and started like BLAM BLAM like beating him wit it! Like the bottom part of it, it has like these black marble legs, and those lil’ legs were kicking the shit outta Joey with every fucking hit.

The neighbors called the cops but they never come there on account of Joey’s dad was the like the desk commander of the 69th precinct and they know Joey’s a loser or some shit and why trouble Joey Sr. with Joey Jr’s. fucking bullshit he’s got hypertension and gout and had to pay off loan sharks and junk dealers on account of Joey Jr.’s degenerate gambling or his dope habit and not for nuthin’ but Joe sr was probably at one time or anotha’ taking payoffs and gifts from Sal as well as Fat Tommy at the Tommy T’s social club where Joey sr. had a espresso and a t-bone steak like clockwork every fuckin Tuesday at like noon.

I can tell you this it looked like The Shining in there, like blood all over the walls, shit all tore up, broken glass and frameless black n’ white photos on the floor and what not, I saw and heard the whole thing from my place next door and like they got like no fucking shame they got the drapes and windows wide open on a Sunday night and screaming and yelling like Sicilian banshees like it sounds like fucking Raging Bull in there with these motherfuckers.

I ain’t gonna say shit cause these scum bags like either one of ‘em will beat me senseless, plus when Joey was in AC Gambling me and Maria fooled around like, let’s just say my sausage fell between her buns and we fucked til the cows came home and she called it a mercy fuck on account of I got like one leg smaller then the other and I gotta wear these orthopedic shoes but I told her not for nuthin’ I don’t need no charity, fuck you Maria I can get laid, just last week Josephine who’s temping in the office of 18th avenue plumbing supply gave me a hand job behind a dumpster and plus I got other prospects, and she said “yeah but a handjob and getting laid are in like in to different galaxies so what the fuck Vinnie?”

She was right and it was amazing to having had fucked her and I’m thinking about her a lot and plus I called her dad about the back-hand thing because fuck Joey Jr anyway! He called me a “lame” and “wobble walk” and “Vinnie Stutter step” in school so fucking his wife was like revenge you only read about in books, or see on television. And plus even my Father who is kind of soft, and quiet compared to other tuff motherfuckers in the neighborhood was like “Jesus Stevie, you gotta get laid, I mean Christ you must be walking around sexually frustrated with a heavy sack or like you must beat off like your going to the electric chair.”

Which both things are true but like I don’t want my father saying that to me I’m thirty-seven and plus I still live at home, but a lot a guys live at home, even into there like 50’s and fuck it’s expensive to move and not for nothing I chip in for food and clean up but my mother insists on doing my underwears and shit ‘cuz I bleached out the a bunch of colors and turned the whites blue cuz I don’t pay attention to what colors go with what cleaning chemicals so anyway, I was having this idea that maybe Sal will beat Little Joey like into a comatose type deal, so like I can be with Maria or console her through her trials and tribulations and however you say that.

Like I think about how much I enjoyed bangin’ her out I actually can’t stop thinking about her and sometimes I mean like once in a while I peak in on her through da window when she’s taking a dump or showering or pissing. Like a coma type deal or even like I mean if he died to, that wouldn’t be the worse thing that ever happened on this block either, like not for nothing you know father Mc Murphy diddled little cocks and fiddled with boys and girlses assholes and he like got off free as a fucking bird and moved out west, the church is like the mafia they take care of there own, but one of those kids was Fat Tommy’s godson and he was fucking like super pissed and word has it he put 25k on the street to have Mc Murphys cook and balls put in a mason jar, and I guess he put a couple of his soldiers on the street and even one went out west supposedly allegedly.