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Archive for June, 2008

When the weather gets hot like it was today, I dust off my crockpot. Slow cooking was designed for straight days like this.

Why heat up the house with a gas stove on a day like today? The tiny air conditioner in the bedroom hardly cools this dusty old place. What to make? I am hungry for ribs. The supermarket on the corner had fresh, deep red beef ribs (short ribs) for $4.00 a pound.

Three packages will fill both me and my lover. He always makes love to me after eating this dish– one of my secret gay man recipes. This is how I trap my men. Keep them coming back, no matter how good the sex may or may not be elsewhere. I invented this dish after my first gay divorce when I was still fat and nobody wanted me. It’s good soul food for those with lonely hearts.

The ribs are seared in a cast iron skillet in a small handful of Crisco shortening. Three minutes at high heat on two sides is enough to brown them.

After all the ribs have been browned and placed carefully in the crockpot, add a can of beef broth to the empty skillet. Use the same can for measuring in an equal portion of red wine, from Australia, if available in local markets.

A green pepper sliced in thick strips makes this this a Mexican favorite. Place the pepper over the ribs in the slow cooker.

Stir the wine broth in the skillet, removing any brown bits stuck to the pan. Add a packet of Ortega Taco Seasoning powder to the broth. Stir to boiling, then dump over the meat and peppers.

Cook at low heat for six hours. Make a pot of rice, a dish of mashed potatoes, and pan of green peas soaked in margarine.

Bon Appetite and Happy Gay Pride Day, B. Style.

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Time Alone

With moments to live, he chose to spend what time there was left in his life with me. Never wanting much, just additional time alone with me. Another night together in a warm bed was all he asked for. To be snuggled in comfort, his worries put at ease in my arms, as darkness set in. He should have said something or told me that he was going to die very soon. I went on with life as if it were eternal, not always granting him the time with me that he longed for just moments before death wrapped its cold, black fingers around his purple heart.

Unlike other lovers I have known, he loved the sea too. Summer was when we fell in love. Who knew he adored riding waves in the cold Atlantic waters off the coast of Long Island? I had done that alone for many summers while those I loved stayed at home because they could not stand the sand. Off to white beaches with chips of violet shells scattered among the white sand we ran when the weather permitted. Aboard a train with a blue plastic cooler, towels, lotion and a hefty staff of weed, I rode with Jesus to the water.

Away from the crowds of bathers who tossed themselves as seals before a resting Neptune midday sun, we found our spot along the beach. Carefree with just a few other loners around, we stripped our heavy clothing from our bodies and quickly entered the bubbling white-capped waves. Over and over again we entered the seas, only to be tossed as children upon the land from which we crept.

With soggy fingers we returned to the spot in the sand with the blue cooler hidden behind stacks of shoes. He lit his brown blunt, offering me the first hit, carefully wiping my lips from salty water that fell from my hair and brow as tears of joy.

All day without food, in the water we fasted until the sun pulled its red rose fingers from above and evening sank quickly upon the red wine sea.

He begged to sleep with me. I was too tired. I wanted to go home alone and wash the sand from my hair. Enough of him– an entire day in the sea. I needed time alone.

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The Demon In Me

There is little doubt in my mind that the trigger of my horrific case of schizophrenia was ecstacy and marijuana. The illness was dormant for 35 years, secretly locked within tiny DNA until I started rolling on E and smoking like the devil.

Environmental and psychological conditions were perfect for the psychotic breakout. A rash of personal problems caused my mind to retreat into darkness and isolation. The loss of a job, home and lover within a month’s time is enough to crack anyone’s dark psychological wholeness.

Still high on ecstacy even though I hadn’t popped a pill in months, I went through the fire of a constant high, one that was impossible to come down from. Every time I took a drink of water, my head sang in glory– so many ideas came rushing all at once. Mania was fierce! If only I had a pen in hand at the time of contact with God.

Eventually, the Eden I was exploring turned into a desert of grief. My mind began racing through the realms of unstoppable, imaginary horrors. It was the great fall and loss of self that so many saints have written about. Bitterness towards life was all I felt. There was no end to the pain, ever, I was told by imaginary voices. I understood why many take their own lives during such possessions.

 

To this day, I remain convinced, by thorough observation, that the illness is not just in me. It is everywhere around us. Only a few are chosen to suffer from the biological disease. And the spirits I saw? The ‘imaginary’ demons that once haunted me– do I think they were real? Of course I still believe they are all around us. They are as concrete as consciousness is to me. Shawn came back from the grave to haunt me. Anyone would have lost their mind if in the same circumstance as me. When people are gone, they are supposed to be gone, but not Shawn. He was right there with me, a witness to it all.

Going three weeks without any marijuana– my body was paranoia free. His death made me want to be clean. I should have never smoked again, though. After my first experimentation with E pills, it seemed that marijuana had a different affect on my mood than it once had when I simply would smoke, sit back and listen to music or get done.

That was the real trigger– the pot I smoked after cleansing my soul during a two week period of mourning.

The bud went right to my head. Tyre should have known better. Me too. What were we thinking? Why did I go out looking for sex two weeks after Shawn died anyway? He was always overly protective of me when he was alive. As an invisible soul, he was like a scorned hooker working a cheap motel who had drained three loads from me in one night and I ran out the door in early morning without paying, while the hooker stayed asleep, exhausted from all that I had given her. His ghost was furious with me. I was so sorry for what I had done.

If ever another man tried to take me from him, Shawn, while still alive, grew furious. He was trying to rest in peace when suddenly my mind made contact with him. His soul, like the illness in my genes was dormant for two weeks when suddenly, I decided I needed to go out to get laid in order to stop missing him so much.

“Shawn Lazarus Smith, walk,” the voice of Jesus must have commanded from over there. He was back for good it seemed and ready to make me pay for being such a heartless whore.

I was with his old friend from LA– Tyre, the bartender from the hidden, “down low” club in Bed-Stuy– Langstons. Shawn and me played with Tyre several times before Shawn passed. It was a threesome heaven with those two; a holy trinity of sorts. God, I think I was in love with both of them at the same time and neither seemed jealous.

Those times were gone and besides, Shawn wasn’t there in person. Tyre handed me the blunt. I thought I wanted him, but suddenly changed my mind.

“Listen,” he said. “Hear that?”

“What’s that,” I cried.

“My upstairs neighbor. He got a dick bigger than mine.”

The man upstairs wasn’t gay, or at least it wasn’t another man he was screwing. It was a woman, with cries of ecstacy that verged towards moans of possible rape.

It didn’t seem real. What was Tyre talking about? No, I wasn’t down for any of that. I ran out of his apartment on Quincy Street and headed towards home. I was nearly hit by a car that quickly turned from Nostrand Avenue. The car behind rear ended him. I kept walking. I couldn’t get out of there fast enough. For a moment I forgot where I was. Something was after me now. It was Shawn. That I am sure of. It wasn’t a mental illness, it was Shawn fucking with my head, like I had his, during those wave filled nights in Brooklyn, when guys like Tyre were with us.

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The Word: Crick

The phrase ‘crick’, used by indigenous mountain people of Pennsylvania, never went mainstream. The word crosses tongues there more frequently than powdered funnel cakes. The only instance that residents of Huntingdon County use ‘creek’ is whey they say “You’re up shit’s creek,” otherwise, the proper word for casual conversation there is ‘crick’. That’s what flows out of mouths .

People who say ‘crick’ are often thought of as hillbillies. The truth is, most people who use such terminology know the proper word, but speak in methods handed down to them from previous generations, and spew forth such literary tragedies simply because they don’t know no better.

One must have swam in a crick at least once in their lifetime to understand why the word is used so freely there. The waters are dirty brown and tainted with cow urine. In the 1970’s, there were no chlorinated swimming pools in South Central Pennsylvania. We swam in the crick and how refreshing it was.

During the great flood of 1972, when the remnants of Hurricane Agnus dumped over two feet of rain upon the Appalachians, the crick near my grandmother’s house flooded all the way up to the second floor of their house. The family simply shoveled out crick mud and moved back in. At five years old, I helped Pap Pap clean out the mud.

“That god dammed crick,” was all that Pap Pap had to say, even though he spent lots of time fishing in it.

As soon as the river was back in its banks, we went swimming in the crick. Blown up inner-tubes from car tires were tossed on the dirty water and secured under out skinny white asses. We floated next to the cow piss and thought nothing of it.

On the other side of the crick, there was a mud bank with grapevines from which we swung thirty feet above the crick’s surface and did cannon balls into the brown water. When snakes swam by, it was best to move out of the way. Uncle Steve took a crap in the crick one day. We all laughed watching his turd float harmlessly by our tubes.

Crick leeches were an inconvenience, but never a bother. Pap Pap burned them off with his square, metal cigarette lighter.

Corn from nearby fields belonging to an old farmer that we didn’t like was gathered by the handfuls and we cooked the cobs in crick water over a fire to warm ourselves after all day swims.

Yes, the proper word for a muddy creek should be crick. There is nothing like cricked, corn on the cob.

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A hoe was secured between the curved handlebars of my ten-speed bicycle. Bill carried the rake. We pedaled five miles from our home in Three Springs to our family’s vegetable farm on the outskirts of Saltillo. Most children were sleeping at 6 a.m. on hot summer mornings. We were up early. We wanted to beat the heat of day.

It seemed unfair to Bill and me that our parents chose not buy canned vegetables. Instead, we grew enough corn, tomatoes and potatoes to feed our entire town. Our step-father worked away on construction jobs during the summer. He left strict orders on what chores needed to be done before he returned home on Fridays.

“You kids think life is easy. When I was your age, I spent the entire day working outside in the fields. We didn’t have swimming pools when I was a kid. Let me tell you, if I find one weed in the garden or if it ain’t hoed right, you will be restricted from playing little league or going to the swimming pool for the rest of the summer.”

The land on which we grew our crops belonged by Bob Garlock. He purchased a large piece of property that was once a pig farm and had plans of converting it to a junkyard. Bob was a used car salesman and best friends with our stepfather whose name was also Bob. It angered Bill and me that Ryan and Robbie Garlock, the sons of the used car dealer, didn’t have to work in the gardens that their father had planted next to ours. Although their fields had weeds, their crops seemed to do just as well. Bill concluded that our step-father simply liked to torment us and enjoyed making our young lives a living hell. I tried to stay happy, keep a smile on my face and I always whistled when I worked.

Mom typically drove us in our family’s blue Chevy pick-up truck to the garden, but Bob decided that the family could save on gas if we rode our ten-speed bikes to the gardens instead—

“Your bikes costs me a couple hundred dollars last Christmas. It ain’t gonna hurt you to ride your bikes to Saltillo. Your mom has got enough to do. Just be careful on the roads. Watch for traffic.”

A thunderstorm swept over the rolling farmland of Central Pennsylvania just as we were half-way to the fields. We took off our drenched t-shirts and continued pedaling in the downpour. The rain felt good. At 6 a.m. it was already eighty-five degrees.

The tall weeds that littered perfectly parallel rows of corn came out easy, thanks to the rain. Bill quickly finished weeding twenty- three rows of corn. I finished my task of dusting the potatoes with lime sifted through a burlap sack. I joined my brother in the tall cornfields. I heard a faint cry ahead of me, down the row. I continued to remove all the weeds until I arrived to discover what was making the horrible sounds.

“Bill, come here quick! There’s a raccoon in the trap.”

Our step-father placed metal, spring traps throughout the garden to keep the wild game at bay. Rarely did we catch anything. The animals seemed to know not to touch the sardines that were placed on the traps and preferred eating the fresh corn instead.

The huge creature looked at us with frightened black eyes. The animal’s foot was caught in the trap.

“What are we going to do?” I asked Bill.

“Let it die.” He explained.

“Not in this heat,” I protested as I quickly slammed my hoe upon its head, as if it were hard garden soil prior to a summer rain.

Bill shrieked. So did the raccoon. I finished weeding.

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Beat 360

Anderson Cooper needs to spend less time producing Emmy award winning documentaries like “Planet In Peril” and discuss the oil crisis on CNN. We have no time for ‘Name the Caption’ photo contests. I would never wear an “I Beat 360” t-shirt. They are unfashionable, like Anderson Cooper. He has much media power, yet acts like a childish journalist!

What’s causing $5 gas, Anderson Cooper? Is another “fed move” to lower interest rates really the answer? What’s the story, reporters? Why hasn’t the media or “The New York Times” offered a real answer to the current oil crisis? America is broke and inches away from starvation.

Didn’t most investigative reporters go to college? What happened to America’s free press– the checks and balances watchdog? Have we all sold our souls to filthy advertisers?

Please, do not make us watch more talk specialists who give us gas and a lot of hot air. What is the real reason why gas is so high right now? Why have home values dropped like a Washington whore? What’s going on? America, you are about to crumble, and our watchdog, the media is not doing its part.

That’s why I’m here!

The answer is simple. Israel should give the land that was promised by its Fathers to its bothers.

Cane killed Eve, no?

The Muslims are controlling the world’s purse strings right now. Not Israel. All that Gold that was stolen from Egypt following the “great plagues” was spent long ago. Bible stories are all fantasy anyway– short stories written by prophets like Anderson Cooper, thousands of years ago.

Turn over the West Bank or go south for the winter!

History repeats itself, but God does not.

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Since September 11th, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) has run ramped in the city that never sleeps. There was more than just jet fuel and screaming civilians inside the jets that crashed into the Twin Towers. A biological agent was released– one that makes  our minds race at the speed of sound. Take a look around. The symptoms are everywhere. Racing thoughts have infected the thought process of the city of nine million.
***
As I made my way through rush hour traffic this evening, I paused in Union Square to assist a victim of WTC OCD. A man going into the subway had shaking hands; a sure symptom of one who has been exposed to the nerve rattling, invisible, psyco-electronic transmissions that were unleashed, in a white dust cloud, back in 2001. They had a dirty bomb. The black man in front of me was confused at the subway turnstiles this afternoon, like so many others who have brain washed by the media and  still suffer from acute nervousness triggered by electronic devices and cell phones. 
***
Yellow, credit card-like transit vouchers enable commuters to enter the subway system by simply gliding a paper credit card through a thin metal strip. The convenience costs riders $2 each way. The black man was having trouble with his MetroCard. It is in places like the subway, at electronic turnstiles, that the OCD affected, men like the Black man with shaking hands, exhibit the debilitating affects of WTC OCD.
***
There were hundreds of people around– all rushing to get to where they were going– home. We were scurrying like insects in a hive or colony. The mind racing began in everyone around me. We were all temporarily insane. It was rush hour. Paranoia at its highest. New Yorkers were freaking out. A man in front of me was stuck at the subway turnstile. I waited patiently for him to go through. I could have gone to another turnstile, but I waited there for the black man to finish. The electronic machine would not accept his swipe. Over and over again he ran his card, like a manic-depressive in a full-blown psychotic state. I just stood there and waited. I knew he was going to ask me. People with OCD and other severe mental illnesses always ask me to solve their mental dilemmas. I waited. He used both hands to try and get his yellow Metro Card approved. The machine instructed the user to ‘swipe again’.
“Take your time,” I said. “Don’t push down hard on the card. Just glide it through slow and easy. Pretend it’s your penis.”
The black man laughed his ass off.
Wouldn’t you know it? It worked. He was approved.
Suddenly, a skinny white woman, one obviously a victim of 9/11 anorexia came storming through the metal turnstile. The metal rods that served as the MTA’s way of dealing with turnstile jumpers quickly swung in a counter-clockwise direction, causing the black man with OCD to freak out.
I wanted to tell him not to “clear” the turnstile by pushing the metal spikes in a 1/4 rotation before he entered the cocoon like entranceway. He forgot that the machine would count the 1/4 turn as a used fare. Thinking he was going to get through the NYC subway system OCT counter-terrorism device, the black stranger was stopped abruptly by the computer that accepted his fare just moments ago.
“What the fuck?” he asked like an obsessive-compulsive; as if I somehow was a token booth clerk and stole his fare.
“They ripped you off,” I insisted to the man, who like me, has been suffering ever since September 11th.

“Fuck this shit. I’m going through that gate. You are a witness, right?”

I quickly made my way through the turnstile with one simple, light, Metro Card swipe.

“Oh yes. Sure. I’m a witness to it all. I’m sure they will believe me!” I shouted to victim of 9/5.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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