Eurotrashcation: Part One

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During the spring, I traveled through Europe. This is a recitation of the events which happened.

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Early in the morning, I went to Heathrow.

I bought some coffee, and bid my time. The croissant was tasty. I bought a ten pack of camels, which was ridiculously expensive. As usual. Someone was being a dick to the Sikh salesclerk. As usual.

The plane took forever to land. I tapped my feet and waited around the flight board. Families and couples reunited around me at the international arrivals. Like that goddamn Hugh Grant movie. An eastern European woman sobbed. An old Middle Eastern man sobbed. Children screamed as they waited for their parents to come home.

The plane landed, but took another hour to get its shit together. I was getting nervous that I had gone to the wrong airport. The luggage claim of for the plane went through, and another hour passed.

Then he was coming through the door. We hugged and kissed, and, yeah, it was like that Hugh Grant movie, okay? Except an Arabic man scoffed at us. Not every moment is perfect, though. Hoss remarked that I looked like a little leather daddy.

We struggled to find the underground towards our hotel. A woman joked with her husband that “Cockfosters” were two of her favorite things. There was an accordion player on the tube. Several people panhandled in the car.

The hotel was very nice and very gay. The table was a sort of pink glass, which matched the pink highlights of the room. There was a pink lotus blooming in a painting. I cannot stress enough how pink this room was, but it matched the dreary London sky.

We relaxed after Hoss’s eight hour flight. When we emerged from the room some four hours later, the sun was down. We decided to go out anyways. We caught the underground to Piccadilly Circus, which Hoss was not as impressed with as I was when I saw it the first time. I like the lights and the noise and the energy of the place. It buzzes.

I showed him Big Ben. I showed him Trafalgar Sqaure and the National Gallery. The streets were dark and quiet, but spooky is more our speed. We saw Westminster Abbey. We saw things we didn’t know the significance of. We recognized names but not the sights. We walked down the Thames and held hands. With shoes echoing against the pavement, we walked to the Tower of London and saw Tower Bridge, which I maintain is campy as fuck. We pointed at the umbrellas shoved into the trash bins.

We got lost and had to ask a tourist where we were to get home. She pointed us out on the underground system map, and it was clear we were lost in a machine we didn’t comprehend.

When we made it home later after grabbing a bag of KFC, a drunk, homeless, Irish man told us some jokes.

“What do you call dairy from Israel?”

“What?”

“Cheesus of Nazareth. What’s the difference between an envelope and the Queen’s vagina?”

“What?”

“I wouldn’t want to lick one.”

We both gave him a couple pounds. He deserved it.

 

Tea in England

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I have been on the hunt for grass for months now. Too long have I gotten inappropriately drunk at the British pubs. Too long have I sadly looked up the stoner tag on Tumblr.

tea

My interest is that of the connoisseur. I wanted to compare what the Brits were smoking to that of highly superior Colorado weed. I was wrong. My tolerance had dropped drastically, rendering any sense of superiority I had born meaningless.

I hounded after my few acquaintances in England. One girl, an American I know, lives in a flat with British types that rage, as far I can surmise. They have a history of throwing lemons and melons out of the window, on the kitchen floor, it sounds like a good time. They go into their bathroom and turn the shower on and light up a j, to diffuse the smoke in the steam. They practice some strange rite of passage known as a “windmill”, where they take a long drag, hold it, and spin in circles till they’re deliriously dizzy. This also sounds like fun.

I asked my flatmates. They knew nothing.

I finally got an invite to a flat party in my complex. They were pre-drinking before going to the club, which I was not into. I shared the remnants of a bottle of Jack with a friend, and hung out on the balcony. A Brit poked fun at my less than admirable roll-up cig, and then offered to roll me one. In seconds he transformed the paper, the filter, and the tobacco into a splinter-sized stick. All around me I could smell the earthy scent of cannabis. A woman gave her joint to the man that I was talking to and went inside. I asked for some puffs, which he obliged me. It was at that party that I met my last hook-up, a man with long curly ginger hair. We chatted about Burroughs and dabs.

Several weeks later, I invited him out for a couple of drinks. We went out to a couple of pubs, drinking an unsteady line of double gin and tonics. We discussed Burroughs and Ginsberg and Stephen King and Lovecraft and Arthur Machen. We talked about the legalization in Colorado. Eventually we landed at a place called the Mischief. And then he invited me to come back to his place to … (wait for it) SMOKE.

We got to the flat. In his room he had stacks upon stacks of books. He showed me that he was currently reading The Doors of Perception and I knew he was a homie. Other indicators included the Fear and Loathing and the Dark Side of the Moon posters. He had the first pipe with resin in it that I had seen in months. He had run out of tobacco, so I had popped back into my flat to retrieve my own. He had said he was bad at rolling, but the spliff he produced was long and magnificent. Because I had seen the coppers with their silly hats walking around, I kept lighting cigarettes to hid the scent, but he seemed unfazed. Before long, I was very high. The kind where your thoughts are speeding through your skull too fast to register, where your head disconnects from your body and your legs start buzzing. It was after I had said “Poetry should be ephemeral” and before he had gotten the wine that I started feeling sick. I ran to the women’s toilet and cleaned up after myself. The toilet was broken, which gave me painful paranoia. I went back into the kitchen and we sat at the table, both of our heads in our hands. I said that I thought I should call it a night. It was as I was saying good night that vomit again filled my throat and I  ran to the men’s bathroom and again emptied my stomach. I embarrassingly wished him a good night again.

At home I lay on the bed and tried to keep the room from spinning, with a shitty sitcom from Netflix playing to an unwatching audience.

When I go to a show I now expect stilt walkers or its a no-go

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We were looking for something fun to do for the weekend, so we checked the listings. We saw a band’s name that struck our interest. Hoss and I did a little Googling, as we are wont to do.

And we saw their motherfucking video right here:

(You can check out the rest of the MarchFourth Marching Band’s videos here)

It goes without saying that we were hooked. We dressed up, (they seemed like the kind of band you would want to dress up for) Hoss in a golden vest and me in my leather daddy jacket and my Dresden Dolls-style stockings. I had blue hair at the time, so that helped too.

We went to the bar across from the street to drink a couple margaritas and dry-heave a little. Hoss was drunk and feeling generous, so he gave his flask of gin to houseless woman, and we got into the show, stumbling, ready to party.

And we motherfucking did.

Straight up, MarchFourth Marching Band was the coolest show that I have ever seen, and Hoss agrees. There were motherfucking acrobats, contortionists, burlesque dancers, and maybe some fire-eaters? I don’t know, I was wasted.

The band had a very ska-y sound, and it was shit that you could skank to with abandon and loss yourself in. They played as if they were having fun, and that transmuted to the crowd. And, when they played their cover of Nirvana’s “In Bloom”, I completely lost. My. Shit. The brass was a explosive and my ears were bleeding with awesomeness. The performance artists added an element of authentic, human spectacle that can’t be achieved by the light shows and pyrotechnics of most shows.

Then something cool happened. Hoss, overcome by the sheer awesomeness, started shouting “HOLY SHIT, HOLY SHIT!”

People had been drinkin’, so they started cheering it too. The band noticed, and they cheered it back to the crowd, and started playing with a new fervor. They rocked our asses off again.

Then something magical happened. A fucking unicorn – kidding. No, the drummers jumped down from the stage into the audience. So, not only were there was great music and great performances, there was also a transgression of that invisible wall between the talent and the fans. The musicians were in the trenches, beating on the drums, in range for the crowd to blow kisses to them.

It’s cool when you see an awesome band with lots of talent. It is another thing completely when you see an awesome, talented band that grooves on connecting with its audience.

The case of the homosexual, non-alien predator.

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When I was still a little faggot, sheltered from the realness of the world of queerdom, I used to go to one of Colorado’s few gay bars semi-regularly.

That woman clearly doesn't want to see whatever he's got.

That woman clearly doesn’t want to see whatever he’s got.

The first time I went, I was smoking in the alley when this guy in a white shirt came up to me, and asked me if I had a light. I handed it over to him, instead of a lighting his roach for him, so as to avoid the implication of cruising.

I was very drunk that night, so when the guy leaned against the wall I was leaning on and tried to talk to me, I crushed my cigarette and returned to the dance floor to slut it up.

The next time I was there, I had to piss like a horse, so I went to the bathroom as soon as we got there. Someone was having sex in the stalls, as usual, and I went up to the urinal. The guy stood at the next urinal, still wearing the same shirt, and asked me, as though not a moment had passed from our last meeting,

“So, you like Nirvana?”

I was wearing my Nirvana t-shirt at the time.

I nodded. I think I noticed the guy take not-so-surreptitious glance over the urinal divider. I zipped up my pants and walked out the bathroom.

Later that night I was busy slutting it up on the dance floor again. Well, trying to, anyway. I think that was the night I made out with a metal-head wearing a Beavis and Butthead t-shirt. He seemed nice, from what I could tell from his lips.

Then, white shirt dude comes barging through my friends’ dance circle. He gestured emphatically at me. I shook my head. I had no intention whatsoever of going anywhere with someone who couldn’t take two clear no’s. I turned around, ever so subtly, and started dancing with the nightly straight chick of the club.

Don’t be a fucking creep, I guess is the message. Keep your creepiness to yourself unless someone wants to see it. Seek someone who actually wants to see your creepiness.

Drag Day – Part 2

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Check out the first part here.

The show was over, the day had been long, but the night would make it longer still. We trudged back to the car, our sneakers freezing in the snow.

The party was at a friend’s, and we were one of the first to arrive. As people started filing in, we put Die Antwoord’s “Fatty Boom Boom” on the stereo to liven things up. The hostess was not amused. A slew of twenty people came in, and went for the liquor. I know a lot of people in the town’s queer community, but I didn’t know any of these fuckers. Hoss was getting the keg of PBR ready.

monkeys and shit

Drinks in hand, we went outside for a cig. The party’s number tripled, the sea of queerdom pushing out more people onto the balcony with us. It wasn’t long before the weed came out. A girl who was smoking in state for the first time shared her bowl with us. A couple we know shared a joint with us, which they dropped, and a woman with small hands had to pick it out of the boards of the balcony. I distinctly remember yelling at someone, calling them “silly prickly pear.”

Through the glass door we could see that a game of spin the bottle or Fuck the Dealer or something, the entirety of the living room floor full of people sitting cross-legged. Someone walked back inside, and a cheer of multitudes, like a battle cry, escaped the apartment. I had been drinking all day, so I shouted “Crikey!”. What can I say? It is in my nature to cry inane things when I’m inebriated.

The after-party was growing more and more insane. Somehow the whole girl’s rugby team from the local college was inside. (I later learned that they kind of show up everywhere. Good on you, female rugby team.) The crowd was getting much drunker, and rowdier. We decided to follow a guy who had been wasted at the show, devouring his boyfriend’s face (in a sexual manner, of course), and was now stumbling around the party. It was partly a matter of conscientiousness, but mostly it was just free fun.

I remember it was after seeing the pile of shoes that I started freaking out. It was gigantic. Clogs, heels, chucks, Uggs, and boots flooded the hallway to the entrance. The pile was at least one foot deep, and several feet across (get it?). It may have also had something to do with a bunch of youthful gays running around and pouring their tearful hearts and souls into drunken phone calls. With a gay couple with whom we are friends, and a couple beers, we shoved through the crowd of rowdy drunks.

We went over to a friend’s vacant house to wait out the storm. There was Netflix, thank God, and a bong. While we were looting her house for weed, I had several communal nature moments via her cat. Hoss found the weed, and the light of the heavens shone on his face.

After a while, we went back to the party. Things had happened, to be sure. When the host saw me, he gave a cry of relief and hugged me. I asked him what the sitch was. There was word of some skinny guy who had passed out drunk in the snow, and the cops had shown up, and the host thought I was dead.

Meanwhile, Hoss was getting into a drinking contest with some motherfucker with flowers in his beard, and was putting him in his place. The guy was out before the third shot.

Then, too drunk to drive, we went back to crashing in the missing friend’s house, the cats humping our legs as we slept.

Let’s talk about acid.

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Its time for an obligatory drug story, as Amy Poehler says in her book “Yes Please”.

We had scoured the town for affordable acid, dismissing some guy who had tried to sell us some for $50 bucks. This would be my first time with acid, and just about anything would “blow my mind.” Whatever.

When The Community Reduce Our Freedom (via kmoufarih.tumblr.com)

The guy we got the acid from stepped into the apartment confidently, like a salesperson who truly believed in his product. Money changed hands, like $20-$30, and we got four groovy bears pre-wrapped in old Post Office paper.

Hoss quickly unwrapped his first one, popped it in his mouth, and licked its wrapping. I hesitated for a minute, took a breath, and followed his lead.

It was great acid, according to him. We walked out of the apartment and onto the balcony for a smoke. He started to feel it sooner than I did. When I asked him about it, he said, “Take a look at your hand.” I waved my hand in front of my face: just a perfectly normal evolutionary miracle, nothing trippy about it.

After a couple more nerve-calming cigarettes, we watched the Adams Family movie to pass the time. Hoss was already well on his way to la-la land, leaving me to slowly watch the red, green, and blue on the low-def TV melt together in a chromatic mish-mash.

After an hour of Thing crawling around, we started watching The Office, disturbing because of the static quality of the characters speaking in the forefront of a swirly background. The Netflix buffered between episodes, and there was a deafening silence for what seemed to be eons but must have only been minutes. I asked, feverishly, if we could listen to some music.

We started listening to Oppenheimer’s Take the Whole Midrange and Boost It with Jim and Pam flirting in the background, and it lined up pretty nicely. I started walking miles around the apartment to the electronic beeping of the synthesizer, not knowing that I was already starting to loose it; i.e, the plaster had started sliding off the wall, the tapestries had lives of their own. We finished the album and started listening to Loveless, an album that still haunts me.

We went out for yet another cigarette on a balcony that overlooked the other apartments that I couldn’t feel in my throat. I flicked my lighter, and I peaked. The lights from the living rooms of the apartments bulged out of the window panes in vibrant gibberish. Of course I screamed to Hoss, “Dude, I’m tripping balls, I’m tripping balls, I’m tripping balls.” He calmed me down, we finished smoking. The journey back inside included striding on the moving walkway of the hallway carpet pattern.

Hoss flipped the switch on the blacklight, illuminating the posters we put above it in garish colors, with a breasted Lady Death on top. We put a Dandies album on, and I fell to the floor with a notebook, scribbling “ephemeral, ephemeral, ephemeral…”, drooling, becoming the floor. Then And Then I Dreamt of Yes came on, and the acid got weird. I fell inside myself, finding a black nothing, which turned into everything. I woke up, or something, and starting drawing spiraling fractals. When the album was finished, Hoss and I were both over the peak.

We decided to go for a walk on a nearby college campus. Our pupils were as large as discs, and I had an extreme feeling of agency, which is a douchey way to say that, I realize. I don’t know. We started smoking Camel Wides.

We came to our destination. A statue of a poet writing a famous poem sitting on a bench. We sat with him for a while, fucked out of our minds, smoking endlessly. I positioned my eyes at the poet’s level, and discerned that he was only looking at a tree. Wacky.

On the way back some college students were screaming something, and Hoss looked me and said, “They’re talking about acid, but we’re on it. The world.” When we were finishing the loop, a bunch of kids blasting Top Forty disco music walked with us, which made us both nervous.

We finished the night with 2001: A Space Odyssey, and Hoss was traumatized by the scene where Hal dies. I mostly stared out the window, looking at the way the street light fell.

The next day it felt like we were hit by a train.

My journey through the dangerous world of hookah

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I consider myself an “occasional” smoker. By that I mean, on my worst streaks, I smoke two cigarettes a day, every day. The preferred cigarettes are Marlboro Reds, the cowboy-killers. I love the taste of them, the acrid fumes. There’s just something so delightfully sinful about them. As my comrade Oscar Wilde once said, “A cigarette is the perfect type of a perfect pleasure. It is exquisite, and it leaves one unsatisfied. What more could one want?”. That, and they’re fucking delicious.

A colleague of mine and I went to a local hookah bar. It was my first time, even though I have traveled extensively through the exquisite land of India. In that land, I heard tell of shisha which could knock even the strongest on his ass.

It was magnificent. The owner was a friend of my friend, and he offered us a new blend, “Panther Sex”. (Another thing that I have found is that even the blends with disgusting names, like Zombie Semen, are delectable.)  I am now one of the few people I know who can say he enjoys coitus of the feline persuasion.

Then we went there a second time. We sat in the corner, observing our fellows with a wary eye, miming phallic jokes with the hose. My friend winked awkwardly at a beautiful woman sitting opposite of us. Then, tragedy struck. My leg was coiled in the hose, and my friend shoved me, and the hookah tipped unfortunately. The bowl fell to the floor and shattered. Red sparks flashed in the air, and an ember caught itself between her foot and the flap of her shoe. I suggested to my friend that she should have then, using the sympathy points, asked for the girl’a number. She just looked at me balefully. The owner, thankfully, didn’t make us pay the $100 for the bowl, and I helped my friend limp home.

I have finished the last cigarette of the pack, and I find myself, ultimately, disappointed. Nothing now compares to the inhale of that cool, sweet mist.

Until another time, I bid thee, farewell.