Need a few writers to write 500 word articles on cruise ship ports worldwide. Pay range is $5 to $6 per article. Please submit samples of your work in either raw text or links. No attachments. If you're approved you can start today.
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I'm a bit under the weather today so here's a piece I came across while searching through some old files. I wrote this a few years ago after visiting the SF Public Library to see the original scroll of On the Road.
Colt squatted on his haunches, his back against the grimy, piss-stained concrete wall, coughing through his first cigarette of the morning. The ally behind the Grove St. Art Gallery and the office supply store had provided a night's shelter from the winds that now shook the potted trees in their large concrete planter boxes at the mouth of the ally.
He fit his bedroll into his rucksack and fished the deep pockets of his khakis for loose change; $1.87, enough for coffee and maybe some of yesterday's pie if the diner hadn't tossed it yet, but he'd have to hurry.
Hefting his rucksack he darted out of the ally and up Larkin St. to the Main Library. The public buildings had to allow access to the bathrooms, and he slipped past the day guard who eyed him with contempt but said nothing. Looks did not bother Colt anymore. Just another pair of eyes in a face he'd never see again.
The library bathroom was a popular spot for the Civic Center locals, but smells did not bother Colt anymore either. He took up a spot at an empty sink and stripped off his shirt to take his paper towel bath. With another wet towel he rubbed his face and teeth, then drank several cold handfuls before rinsing and spitting into the rusty sink; digging into his pack beneath the nickel notebooks and pencils for his last semi-clean shirt before running wet fingers through his tangle of greasy hair. Unable to locate his razor since he'd left the Y in Bakersfield three days ago, he would once again have to forego shaving. He studied himself in the mirror and frowned. A few days beard made him look mean. Not good when trying to score a hand out or a ride.
The bathroom was starting to take on more of Larkin Street's regulars so Colt grabbed a few handfuls of paper towel, stuffed them into his pack and made for the door. Heading for the stairs he paused and glanced into the Jewett Gallery, currently displaying thirty-six feet of Jack Kerouac's original manuscript of On the Road. Hovering around the long, glass display case were several college kids; wannabe hipsters complete with notebooks in the pockets of their expensive leather jackets. Colt smiled to himself and shook his head. Shifting the rucksack on his shoulders he turned and headed up the stairs. The guard tracked him with bored eyes until Colt pushed through the glass doors onto Grove Street. He hung a left on Hyde and ducked into the Sugar Plum Coffee shop.
"Cup of coffee-black," he said to the young Asian woman behind the counter, "And a slice of pie if you have any left."
Before the 2006 remake, most people that I asked had never even heard of The Wicker Man. An old boss of mine had recommended it to me years ago, and it's been sort of a favorite of mine and Lisa's ever since.
The original 1973 version of The Wicker Man is an outstandingly suspenseful and creepy little piece of cinema. It starred the now late Edward Woodward as a Scottish police officer who flies to the remote, fictional island of Summerisle to investigate reports of a missing girl. The residents of the island, who all practice Celtic paganism, claim not to know who she is. It also stars Christopher Lee as the bizarre and sinister Lord Summerisle If you have not seen it please rent the original. Do not waste your time with the Nicholas Cage dung heap of a remake.
Woodward died today in a London hospital after several months of illness. The only other thing of his that I honestly remember is that 80's TV show, The Equalizer.
"Got a problem? Odds against you? Call the Equalizer."
The boy had a drum lesson on Tuesday. He's been playing drums for awhile now, but in all honesty I don't know how good he is. He can sit at the kit and fool around, and he sounds pretty good sometimes. He plays in the concert band at school but when he practices, the songs are all "rat-tat-tat-rata-tat-tat." It's not music, it's rhythm you know? How does a drummer know what to play when he sits down with the rest of the power trio? Any drummers out there with any answers, because I honestly don't know how a drummer knows what to drum if a drummer could drum-drum.
Lisa sent me the above picture yesterday. She has been down in Palm Springs since Wednesday afternoon, attending some sort of teacher convention thingy. She told me what it was about but I don't remember; something about teaching tools. I don't know if this refers to all those tools teaching, or trying to teach the tools. Either way, count me out.
Anyway, I told her to send me a picture of something desert-y as I've never been to Palm Springs. In my minds-eye, all the streets in Palm Springs eventually dead-end into desert; the blacktop literally ending, and then nothing but sand, scrub and cactus. All my visions and knowledge of Palm Springs I gleaned from Less Than Zero.
Fridays are crappy days for job hunting. Not many new jobs are posted, and I don't think employers want to deal with phone calls from job seekers on Fridays. Monday's either for that matter. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday are the true work days of the week. So today, in preparation for Lisa's return, I spent some time working around the house; two hours on the garage, a few loads of laundry, and, as you can see, vacuum dusting. It's hard to feel productive when you're unemployed, even if there is plenty to do.
I can't believe I don't have a job. I was pursuing two good opportunities and found out yesterday that neither one is going to happen. It seems that there will always be someone with more experience or more talent than me, particularly in the current market. It's pretty discouraging. When I was young getting a job was easy. Why is it so hard now? Because I don't want to work at McDonald's? I probably don't have the experience they're looking for either. I may have to go back to flipping pizza. At least then I could afford to eat pizza again because employees eat free right?
Here's hoping next week is the week. See you then.
My Portland sister posted this pic of me and college roommate/best buddy, John, circa 1985 on Facebook. Jesus, it looks like I'm sporting some f*cking animal on my head. And I must have had a ½ dozen of those ugly "Cosby" sweaters. And don't overlook the tight jeans, ladies.
Don't ask me what the hell we're doing in this picture. That's the SF State University parking garage, and that's the hood of my 1978 Toyota Celica, the originalchick magnet, that Johns parking his butt on. I think this may have been one of those famous "Sears Catalog" poses that we were so fond of striking.
In any event, posting a goofy picture of someone on FB is akin to outing them. Payback will be sweet.