The Grand (and somewhat bland) Appearance

On the 9th of June, fellow writer Funky Mannequin and I left our home in La Grande, Oregon. The goal was to travel the length of the state and return to Portland (where we first met), and travel we did; through incredible heat, scrotal ticks, the corpses of decaying roadside house-cats, and the backs of vans owned by religious meth-head couples, we pressed onward. However, this story is about none of those things (though you can bet there will be more on such escapades later).

For now, let’s focus on The Grand (and somewhat bland) Appearance.

Upon reentering Portland, Funky and I were greeted by a typhoon of litter and profoundly retarded transit system. The destination was across town (the apartment of a dear friend Garrett), so we got change from a local barkeep and his transvestite girlfriend, seating ourselves at the nearest stop and checking the schedule. It read eight minutes – five minutes later, it read nine.

When the vehicle at last greeted us, it did so with an overweight woman screeching into a speaker-phone and a coughing man who would have shamed victims of the bubonic plague.

We were up to our taints in boozy broads and gutter condoms. We were home indeed.

Once freed of the public access vehicle, we promptly located Garrett’s building and illegally tailed a resident through the safety-locked doors. Instead of the stairs, we took a dangerous-looking elevator up a single story and reached the room in minutes, ushered in by a middle-eastern man bearing a plate of assorted fruits. “For you,” he spoke smoothly, presenting the organized dish of succulent offerings.

We took the juicy gift and rested upon a crimson sofa, breathing in the sheer emptiness of the apartment’s space. “Where’s Garrett?” we asked, slightly unnerved.

“He went to get you,” the man responded, producing a smoke and heading for the balcony.

“Of course.”

Eerie music filled the air. No, there is truly no joke or metaphor to be found here; there was suspenseful music quite literally flooding the room around us, echoing from somewhere within the walls (from which room we did not yet know).

On the coffee table before the couch, a sculpture of a pirate skull glowered at our knees (“I dug that out of the trash!” our friend would soon proclaim with an appropriately dramatic gesture).

When Garrett finally did arrive, he did so with a homeless companion named Jeremy (known to Garrett as “Gregory” for absolutely no reason at all). Jeremy talked about an ideal world on acid, grew offended when asked to play a love song, refused to shower, then gave everybody his filthy, filthy lice (they filled all of the hand towels, so cleaning oneself was deeply counter-productive). Levi cooked us delicious salmon to rectify these things.

That night, we watched a television of static. The channels wouldn’t change unless we were using the remote. When the remote eventually stopped working (no big deal, all of the channels were static anyway), Garrett opened the battery compartment and two small pieces of aluminum foil fell from the device. We were all dumbfounded.

On the television (or rather, within the static on the television), we saw intergalactic travel, spiraling serpents, parting seas, and a vigorously dancing man. The dancing man was so horrendously funny, we all laughed for a good five minutes (five minutes is an absurdly long and painful amount of time when you can only laugh). This television, like the pirate skull, was obtained from a dumpster.

The following day, Funky and Garrett made Jeremy the Louse King collect all of his shit and throw it into a sack, putting him on the bus and taking him to a tax-evading semi-cult otherwise known as The Boneyard (read: Road Trip Through PurgatoryMy Accidental Life As A Full-Time Meth Peddler: Part One, and Bags Of Flesh, Bottles Of Urine – all appropriately titled entries in the world of Boneyard lore).

“It’s a commune of artists,” they misinformed the Louse King.

He looked very worried, as he should have been. When they were traveling via the TriMet streetcar, he spent the ride face-down in his guitar. He knew they were stretching the truth.

When they reached the communal settlement of degenerate scum, the landowner was evicting a local junkie (Fini, Lord of Ice-Cold Milk). All of his greasy belongings had been tossed onto the lawn.

The Louse King was abandoned there, yet to be seen again.

So we made a safe return and lead normal lives, right?

Well, unbeknownst to my shitty little heart, this was but the beginning of a new breed of adventure – an adventure so lethargic, pasty, and unexciting that it would be a crime to shove it all into one post.

In stories to come: handguns, familial alienation, bloody intercourse, parolee sex-changes, cancer, long-lost siblings, and open relationships. Yeah, yeah, don’t get your hopes up.

Garrett, whose face is scribbled out because he doesn't want any photos on the internet because he's fucking insane.

Garrett, whose face is scribbled out because he doesn’t want any photos on the internet because he’s fucking insane.

Next Up: The Gland Incoherence
And Then: The Unplanned Interference
And Eventually Someday: Seven Sinks And The Bridge Of Despair
And Then Eventually Someday Somehow After All That: 260 Miles: The Borderline Homoerotic Tales Of Traveling Way Too Far On Foot And Getting Ticks On Your Nutsack

Floor-Sleepin’: Ep. 1 – My Bathrobe

So I developed a habit exactly 2 years ago: I like to wear my bathrobe all day, every day, during the winter season. I had started college late in 2012 and after a few brief months of enduring the acrid stench of Hollywood, I was allowed a short reprieve for winter break and returned to the amnesty of Portland for a short while. I slept on the couch and almost constantly wore my bathrobe, using it as a second blanket at night as a means of defense from the cold that the heater tried so fruitlessly to stave off. It didn’t help that the damn thermostat took the piss sometime last year and stopped working, rendering the heater just about useless, making my robe all the more crucial.

I elected to forego a shirt in most instances, keeping the robe closed with the sash, and hardly ever wore boxers under my pajama pants. This way, I was never too hot under the blanket but never fully subjected myself to the cold. (Yes, I am currently wearing underwear as of this writing… but for how long?)

This trend became a mainstay last year out of a combination of nostalgia/tradition and a compulsion to stay warm (for reasons stated above). I returned to Portland, cagey and in need of companionship, glad to indulge in winter break of 2013, bathrobe at the ready. Starting about sometime last month, I donned the illustrious garb and sauntered around, constantly sleepy-eyed, as the cold was making its presence known and my more vulnerable parts weren’t too thrilled. Mind you, I prefer the winter seasons, mostly because I can deal with the cold easier than the piercing simmer that is summer. Living in Portland, you’re treated to a most interesting style of winter as it doesn’t snow often, but you can always count on the infamous rain. In Portland, you don’t “bundle up and grab an umbrella,” unless you’re an unwitting tourist or a Californian pansy. Instead, we “liquor up and grab a hoodie.” Not exactly being of age, my dealings with the cold usually devolve into binge consumption of holiday coffees, peppermint teas, and spiced ciders, welcoming the warm, festive swills into my system, excreting jolliness in the form of half-lidded facial expressions, excessive lounging, and general laziness.

This year, I have added a scarf to my wardrobe. So… that’s new, I guess. But it has recently donned on me that in almost prophetic coincidence, I have become Patton Oswalt:

The way he describes his depression’s puppy-like enthusiasm, especially and most certainly regarding the bathrobe, is my life all throughout the holiday season. And rather than The Princess Bride, it’s the same old holiday specials we’ve all seen in tandem with the Cartoon Network ones from my childhood, heady with the musk of nostalgia. It is my essence, my very being. However, rather than a puppy (belligerent, repugnant cretins), I’d liken it to a fluffy kitty: Lazy-ass cat curls up and sleeps for half the time, the other half is spent ignoring any other outside stimuli with the exception of the occasional display of affection, instead focusing on whatever trivial distractions it feels up for, and eating. It is truly the vapid nature of my depression kitty that embodies the holidays, undoing any good intentions the Prozac-like months beforehand had.

At this point in the writing, I’m no longer decent (so have fun with that knowledge), and in need of a new trivial distraction.

I love the holidays!

[Next: Ep. 2 – The Perfect Pussy]