Tag Archives: Insanity

NIGHT SHIFTINESS

I’m not a morning person, or an afternoon person. Actually I’m not an any time of the day, or night person. I’m curmudgeonly and I’m jaded. I grew up in L.A. Whaddya want from me? It takes roughly 2 to 3 hours to muster a mild amount of patience and tolerance for me to even leave the house. I can get up and go if there’s a fire, a flood, or an earthquake, and even then it’s with some misgivings.

This is a qualifier for why I prefer to work swing or graveyard shifts. In most cases, these shifts attract a bizarre, creepy, and just plain odd individuals. I fit into all three of those categories. Let’s talk about the staff. The names have been changed, to protect me from these fucking lunatics.

Gerardo is the dedicated overnight man. He’s been doing room service for over 19 years. A pint-sized Filipino, with a mild speech impediment. He comes in at 11:30 every night and says the same thing, ‘Wush up, wush up, wush up?’ (What’s up). He never listens to or doesn’t care what the reply is. His next line is, ‘Ah, wuz bishee?’ (was it busy)? Again, he doesn’t care about the answer. Occasionally he will answer, ‘Oh is shat sho?’ (Oh, is that so) Gerardo’s sole purpose on an evening-to-evening basis is to get out of doing any sort of side work. I understand that it sucks, but it has to be done. But he is notorious for this, as even other employees have experienced.

There’s always side work, polishing silverware, restocking condiments and sodas, cutting butter, lemons, and limes pre-setting trays for deliveries, there is always things to fucking  do. But the truth is Gerardo has been here way too long and tries to delegate these jobs to me.

He says passive /aggressive things like, ‘Um can you focush on the silverwaresh?’ (Polish silverware, this seems to be something that he never wants to do.) ‘Run de florsh’ (go check the floors to see if there are any dirty trays, or morning breakfast orders hung on the door). I usually say the same thing every time he asks, ‘Your not my boss, I already did that’ or, ‘Gerardo you’re going to have to do some side work, there’s no way out of it.’

I mean, I come in at 5:30 and have been working my ass off. He just got there and he doesn’t want to do anything. I put him in check quickly, and if that doesn’t work, I just don’t do the side work and tell the supervisor he ain’t doing shit. They already know this though, and they do NOTHING.

One night I was coming off the elevator and heard him talking LONG shit about me to the chef, Julio. Something about ‘not doing my shares’. He doesn’t really wants shtoo be here, he wants shtoo write, we needs peoples thats are dedicated.’ I stood behind him and started laughing uncontrollably. Laughing like DeNiro playing Max Cady in Cape Fear. Julio walked away. Gerardo turned and looked at me with horror in his eyes. He walked away punching into the air. I didn’t care. I said to him, ‘So check this out Gerardo, you got something to say, say it to me, or talk to management Julio ain’t gonna help you.’ He immediately lied, ‘Oh no, we jush talking about 86’d itemsh, foods we ran out ofsh.’ I put him in check continually, but he forgets. Sometimes when it gets really busy, he walks in circles and tosses his hands in the air like a malfunctioning robot. He also freaks out if there are more than two orders. Some nights I’ve done 30 orders before even gets there, so I realize the silliness of this fear immediately. He also repeats himself constantly and loves top forty music. I listen to him drone on about “Taylor Shwifts, Maroons Fives and Iggyes Azaleas.’ By the time I leave at two AM, I seriously feel like I’ve been on a 72-hour hold in a psyche  ward. It’s a wonder I stay sober or sane.

Now let me tell you about Julio, the night Chef. A rotund 68-year-old Columbian man with a deep voice, an accent, a shady past and a limp. Julio comes in and depending on his mood will 86 (cancel) anything on the menu that he doesn’t feel like making. This he tells us after the guest has already called in the order. We have to call them back and say we are out of said item. Then he changes his mind and decides to make it. So you call the guest back again and say, ‘oh my mistake turns out we have it.’ This happens 2 or 3 nights a week and it’s so fucking maddening you want to throw hot grease on him or spray oven cleaner in his eyes! I swear to god it’s like working with your God Damn grandparents!

One night while I was waiting for Julio to prepare an order, he told me he was the private Chef for Pablo Escobar. He said that Pablo was an incredibly generous man, with a big heart, who really tried to help people. (I’m sure there are many folks that said the same thing about Hitler). He said cooking for the children’s birthday parties was always a fun time. Even though the kids were fat little-spoiled assholes. Once while preparing a dinner for the family, little Manuela Escobar was screaming and crying because the pony she got for Christmas had no wings, ‘she wanted a pony with wings,’ Julio pleaded. I laughed. Then Julio turned dark. ‘Months later at her birthday party, a man walked in with a pony that had wings.’ He went on to say that Pablo had the wings taken off an eagle and surgically implanted on the horse. To which Julio replied, ‘But you know, nature doesn’t play that game and three days later the pony died.’ I stood there aghast. he looked at me and grinned. “Oh, here, your chicken quesadilla for room 219 is ready.’

My days at the London Hotel were numbered. Essay #1

#2:00 AM London Hotel, West Hollywood.

I was walking the halls collecting trays, and picking up early morning orders left on doorknobs. As I made my way from floor to floor, I pondered all the decisions and wrong turns and I made in my life. Disastrous turns that led me up to my current position at 50 years old.

Sure, there were drug and alcohol incidents here and there, also some jail stints. There was also first-degree burglary, grand theft auto, possession of controlled substance as well as assault with a deadly weapons charges but all that was many years ago.

When I applied for this job, Jill Myers in human resources said The London was to do an intensive background check. Apparently, it wasn’t that intensive.

Truth be told, I lost all my hustle when I sobered up and I stopped doing hard drugs. Thank baby Christ I’m not permanently psychotic or paranoid. These thoughts were broken by a woman in a nightgown running and screaming coming down the hall straight towards me.

‘I left my key in my room, I left my key in my room! She looked distraught and flustered. At first, I thought she was dead on the reincarnation of Leona Helmsley, or the ghost of Leona Helmsley stuck in a Hell-like hotel purgatory.

Was it Leona? At 2 AM your mind really plays tricks with you. Think the Overlook Hotel but I’m way more passive Mr. Torrance.

‘Okay okay, ma’am. Ma’am, what is your name?’ This was the protocol. Simple enough.

‘What the hell does that have to do with it! Just let me into my room! That’s private information anyway!’ She seemed to be moving closer toward me. I started stepping backward.

‘Ma’am, I’m sorry I just can’t let anybody into any room without proper identification.’

Her eyes lit up, ‘Anybody, anybody? Into any room? I’m Sofia De Aragon and I’ve been staying at this hotel on and off since it was The Belage! How dare you!’

A door in front of us opened and a guest popped his head out. He took one look at Mrs. De Aragon and quickly went back to his room and shut the door.

‘That’s right! You mind your business!’ Sofia said as he bolted the door.

Suddenly I felt like a scolded eight-year-old. ‘Okay okay, I’m sorry. What room are you in? ‘Well that’s just it, I don’t know what room I’m in. They used to put the room numbers on the key, how the hell are you supposed to remember what goddamn room you’re in?’

‘Well, I guess we’ll have to call the front desk.’

She looked angry, ‘Well where is that god damn phone to even call them? We’re on the eighth floor! Do I have to run downstairs?’

I started moving towards the lobby of the eighth floor, I knew there was a phone there. I had to get away from this woman. I felt like she had stuck an invisible straw into my chest and was sucking the very last bit of life that was left in me. It had to stop. I picked up the phone. ‘Hi it’s Mike, In-room-dining attendant, I have a Mrs….’ I looked up at her, ‘Ma’am your name?’ She shook her head and whispered, ‘give me the phone, give me the phone.’

I attempted to walk away. Let them come up and let her into her room, or figure out what room she’s in. I just couldn’t do it anymore.

‘Hey where are you going? I’m in room 416 you need to let me in.’ We were both on the 8th floor. I don’t even know how she ended up on this floor. You need a room key to use the guest elevator to go from floor to floor. Which I don’t even have. And I was told under no circumstances were guest allowed to use the service elevator. I walked towards the phone called the front desk again. I hung up. Then I explained the situation to her and that she would have to wait here while somebody came up from the front desk.

She was flustered and upset ‘Why can’t you just let me in?’

‘Ma’am if you don’t have your room key we can’t get down the elevator to your floor, I don’t have access to that elevator with the key that I have.’ We both stood there looking at each other for a moment, but it felt like an eternity.

‘Well that’s absurd, what kind of bullshit operation are they running here?’ I walked away. She was saying things to me as I was walking away. They can fire me, they can discipline me, they can do whatever they want. Bottom line, I was not talking or looking at this woman for another fucking minute.

The Inspiration Behind My Book ‘#1 Son And Other Stories’. Available Now On Amazon.

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I spent most of my life hustling or making ill-gotten funds from rippin’ and running, scamming and stealing and wheeling and dealing stocks, drugs, or receiving stolen goods.

 

      After I sobered up and got off of cornucopia of opiates, copious amounts of crack and vicious amounts of vodka, I still tried to do felonious activities. But my consciousness just wouldn’t allow it anymore. I felt every lie. I felt it every time I stole and with every little stupid manipulation for a little more love, money or validation. I was locked into that behavior,  filled with guilt and shame, as a result, I kept relapsing.

     I was hard-wired for a criminal lifestyle. I’m not gonna’ blame my father, my mother, my stepfathers (2) or any of my stepmother’s (4). The fact of the matter is I grew up watching people steal, deal drugs, cheat on their taxes, profit from bullshit insurance claims, and just general felonious quick money scams and ideas.

     I saw that continuous acts of dishonesty, stealing, lying or cheating was completely connected to the getting drunk or high again. I’ve had to learn to live a life of honesty and pursue my creative dreams which were drowned out for so many years by drugs alcohol and a completely low self-opinion. I’ve had to take jobs and make humiliating low pay. All of this has helped me continue to pursue the creative passions and ideas that I just didn’t have access to before.

This is all in my book ‘#1 Son And Other Stories’ available now on Amazon.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/0999614185/

Fourscore And A Little More

Fantastic Scams™

Bait And Switch®

Meteoric Rise©

Easy Money™

You’d be a fool not to fall for a this! Don’t miss the boat! The trains leaving the station! You’ll be living a lifelong vacation! Work from home! Make $8000.00 monthly posting ads for Sir E-Bay & Lady Google!

Jack off or diddle your cunt, while you watch the latest version of Alan Funt!

Excuse the candor and rancor But let’s get to the pointless meaning of what I’m screaming. The easy money is for easy wallets, with disposable Dead Presidents past and present. Otherwise, You’re the pheasant for a ‘Cheney like’ hunter, you’ll be put out to pasture in a dead field of wheatgrass, just what do I mean?

They’ll wax that ass, then put you in the Unseen Museum… Where a thousand dead souls spend recess doing the dance of a thousand recessions, coupled with a line dance featuring the legacy and the lord of this dance the one and only, Sir Ronnie Ray Gun – cutting a rug and a budget with a trickle-down break dancing routine that will have you squirming in your (once upon a time) Wrangler Jeans.

…Meanwhile, Tommy Two times at the outdoor bar repeating, “You know what I mean? You know what I mean?”

If that isn’t enough, Well I don’t mean to get gruff, but you can high tail it (or Low ride) back to Toonerville, Tommy! And take that Pitbull with ya’- He’s bad for business! Seems he ate all the gunpowder and blood sausage. And he makes whitey uptighty. He’s not fixed and his balls collide with the consciousness of dimly lit buffoons. And you there, yes you, where you from, Rangoon? Or another place?

I can’t place the face, but we don’t allow that click-click language in this here saloon so hit the bricks and tell your story walking or face La Migra, who are suffering from maximum migraines brought on by the same paranoia of the simple solipsistic suckas that sing and dance to the drum of Sir Donnie’s Republican Tantrum.

Wanna’ play a game?

Step Right Up!

Get yourself a heaping helping of His Story!
My eyes have never seen the glory of the coming of any Lord.
Just a sword, that slices and massacres any that aren’t lock step.
An antiquated “Two Party” system.
A 3 card Monty game of the ages.
This game will whoop your already tired ass, regardless of your ‘caste.’
Complaints and litigation will not be honored, we’re chock full of that noise in this future third world state, Ace!
But Hey! Don’t take my word for it, roll up your sleeves and have a go, give it all you got.
This crap game doesn’t differentiate, it’ll take all your soul and your time, ultimately leave you broke homeless crying on the corner for a dime.
The administrator of this site doesn’t give a county fuck if you’re down on your luck and overwhelmed with strife…(truth is, that’s the best time to strike)
so…
Bring your ‘A’ game cuz this scam is a million miles from tame, it’s feral soul-less greed, and the trough needs fillin’ (do you hear what I’m drilling?)
Wake the fuck up and smell the infinite scandal, the game that plays you. You can run and hide, sure maybe set up your own little Ruby Ridge, disappear or as they say, go ‘Off The Grid’ ~ The united snakes will find you, slither in and expose your sin, it’s really an external game that no one wins.
HEY! You ain’t getting my soul, fuckers. I got my skin suit protecting my light, my very being, walking through this valley, MAN, sometimes just pure misery is what I’m seeing.
 I laugh it off, but stay alert and vigilant all the same.

 Never to be a victim of a self-made game…

Intro to yours truly.

You would think after getting shot at on the 405 freeway back in the mid-1990’s (for flipping somebody off) that It wouldn’t happen again, or more importantly just chill out on the road in general, I’d be Zen-like.

 

Nope, wait. Before I get into the next “the second time I got shot at” story, that occurred on the 10 freeway, I’ll elaborate. It’s a “hot as fish grease” day,  August 1994. I’m making my way over the Sepulveda pass to The West Side. I had just left my Mother’s condominium in Van Nuys. As I was leaving she stated, “well, should be a breeze at this hour, but you never know.”

I’m in a Jeep Wrangler ‘soft top’ no air conditioning, the top is up. Traffic is moving at about 7 miles an hour in fits and starts. I’m light-headed and nauseous from the amount of exhaust I’m breathing via the windless baking heat. I feel like I’m in a Glad sandwich bag or a rolling greenhouse. The Jeep seats are plastic, the top is canvas and the windows are plastic.

In my haste to ‘get on the road’ I neglected to zip off the back and side windows, and although the front is zipped down I’m not getting any relief. This is not ‘a breeze.’ I started going into deep morbid reflection about the Jeep purchase. The main thought was; a year and a half later and $12,000 in payments to go I felt like a sucker, an absolute dupe, a patsy. Glendale Jeep got me good. They saw me coming.

I sat for 7 hours bargaining and negotiating for this ‘utility’ vehicle that already had three recalls. I maxed out three credit cards as a down payment for this rolling memory of constant financial remorse. It haunted me frequently. As all this was turning in my head like sneakers in a dryer, a Toyota Celica cuts into ‘my’ lane and I stop short, almost hitting the left rear quarter panel. The bumper of his car has a plethora of 12 step bumper stickers, “easy does it, clean and crazy, let go and let god, one day at a time, my other car is up my nose,’ and of course the car has no license plate.

I honk, he immediately puts his left finger out the window and shakes it. That’s always a strong move, you cut me off, then flip me off. You do it with real authority, with a shake like you would a fist, but with ‘the bird.’ I had been listening to Fugazi’s “Waiting Room” my self-pity quickly turned to homicidal rage. I turned off the music, ‘Fuck you piece of shit!’ I yelled.

His tinted windows were all rolled up, he was sitting in the cool composed comfort of air conditioning, looking for someone else to impede on. I pulled into the right lane and got up next to him. I was quickly making hand gestures for him to roll down his window. He rolled down his window, he was wearing a suit and tie, I imagined he sold cars or worked in telemarketing sales. “Hey asshole, don’t fucking cut me off, then you flip me off like it’s my fault, you piece of shit, and what’s up with all those stupid bumper stickers?” We sat and made eye contact for a moment. “So what are you going to do?” He asked blankly. Fuck this guy. “Pull over ‘Mr. clean and crazy’ and I’ll give you a beatin’ you won’t forget.”

He put the car in park and slowly reached over to the glove box, my intuition quickly told me he had a piece. He pulled it out, it looked similar to the .380 I had at home, which I wished I had now. I quickly zipped up my jeep window, huh?

I saw him pull back the slide and jack around with his left hand. Then he lay against the passenger seat. Expressionless, he leveled the gun right at my face. Quickly, I sat back in my seat as hard as I could. Am I going to die? Here? Now? I heard the .380’s report and immediately smelled the cordite. I had been shot at before but had never been at this much of a disadvantage. Visual assessment. I wasn’t shot! I saw a small bullet hole in the plastic jeep window and was strangely grateful that I had zipped it up.

Cars were honking and there was a 5 or 6 car gap in front of him, so I quickly cut over and floored it, I went into the emergency lane and drove like, well, like I had just been shot at. I looked in my rearview, he wasn’t pursuing and I got off at Sunset and headed west. I pulled over. I balled my fists and pounded on the steering wheel and went into a Tourette like rage, “You motherfucker! You column of human waste, scumbag, dope fiend, alcoholic piece of shit!” I finally stopped. Most of those insults were truly things I also felt about myself at one time or another. I took a breath. I chilled.

I thought about the fact that I had nowhere to rush to, I had no job, and I had almost got myself killed over a patch of road. I continued to drive like an asshole even with the bullet hole through the plastic window. I’m hard-headed, I’m a little insane. I don’t learn lessons from these experiences and then just act right. There is no need to tell the other story. I’ve mellowed out a little,  except for following a guy to Starbuck’s and beating him down. That felt justified. So, I’m on the Glendale freeway going north. In fast-moving traffic, a grey Mercedes-Benz gets in front of me and slams on the brakes. My old dog Roscoe flies against the dashboard with a loud yelp. I’m enraged and mystified all at once. Did I do something to this guy? Did I cut him off earlier? He’s laughing and holding his middle finger out the window, his arm accompanied by a horrible silvery green, cable-knit sweater. His license reads BADAZMB. The freeway divides. I’m going west, he’s going east, but I can also see he’s signaling to getting off at the next exit.

I know the exit. There is a Starbuck’s, Noah’s Bagels some other little retail stores and a theater. I get off the next exit and double back. I have a strong feeling he is at (or going) to Starbuck’s. I drive and park my car in a shaded corner and slowly slink around the parking lot. I see his car BADAZMB. I walk up to it look around, nobody is watching. I key the fuck out of it, both sides all the way across, “This is for disturbing my dog Roscoe.” I turn to go back to my car, I can’t. I turn around and walk to the Starbuck’s, I go in. Steely Dan’s ‘Babylon Sister’ is playing. I look around, I see him and his bad sweater in the corner. He is on his computer.  Maybe he is writing about me? I look around again, no cops but a lot of people of all ages. I walk up to him. Stand over him on his right side. He looks at me, he has NO IDEA WHO I AM.

He Just did all that bullshit and has no clue. “Can I help you?” I look out the window and point to his car. “Is that your Mercedes?” He looks out the window. “Yes. Why what’s up… Just then I grab him with my left, hold him down in his chair as I pummel him with my right fist. Five quick shots to the right side of his cheek/chin area. At the same time I’m saying, “YOU MOTHERFUCKER, THIS WILL TEACH YOU TO STOP SHORT IN FRONT OF SOMEONE ON THE FREEWAY FOR NO REASON!” He’s screaming, ‘I’m sorry! I’m SORRY!’ Very quickly people start leaving the store. “We’re calling the cops,” I hear a voice yell at me, So I turn and say ‘Alright I’m leaving.’ I walk out. Now I’m paranoid, was all that on camera? Am I gonna go to jail? For days after I feel horrible, scared, and have an emotional hangover that reminds me of how quickly violent I can turn. Since then I’ve learned to seriously pause or pull over when I feel it surfacing. It takes serious vigilance. This is a reminder. I will lose my freedom if I let some shit stain rock my game.