Saturday, April 30, 2005

I'm no prison bitch (part 2)

When we met last I was telling my tattoo story. Hopefully you've been panting for more.

So I'm standing in the doorway of this cell watching a very big man making torturous faces everytime this other guy pokes him with this assuredly dirty (or at least not properly sanitized) homeade tattoo needle and the strange thought comes: I want a tattoo.

Actually the thought didn't manifest in quite that way. It was more like: you know, I've never had a tattoo and I never wanted one, but I wonder what it would be like to get a tattoo but I don't want the usual naked lady riding a huge penis or a dragon or the devil but I want a tattoo!

Something like that, but with more ADD.

So I arranged for payment (three hostess fruit pies and two ramen noodles, the currency of jail), and met with the artist and we worked out this design, shown below.

Would a prison bitch have the balls to have the nerdiest tattoo? Posted by Hello

Now, I consider Einstein my hero but to this day I still have no idea why I chose the frickin' theory of relativity to etch into my arm. I worried briefly about the choice of design but nobody gave me too hard a time. In fact, in a way I think it added to the toughness factor: would you mess with a guy who had the nads to wear such ink?

So the liquid hepatitis (I mean ink) was made, the lighter flame was applied to the staple and I steeled myself what I thought was going to be the worse pain in my life.

I was right, but the pain was at least four times greater than what I thought and here's the kicker. The tattoo didn't fully take, so the artist had to go over it again!

I've thought about expanding it some, like superimposing a yin yang symbol over it or something. Any ideas? The #1 Body Piercing Jewelry Website on the Net Today

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

I'm no prison bitch (part 1)

What're YOU lookin' at? Posted by Hello

When I was not much younger I was locked up in the Spalding County Jail in Griffin, Georgia. I had written a bunch (I mean a bunch) of bad checks due to a nasty little crack habit I had acquired. While I'm not a small fellow, I never really liked to fight, so I would just put my mean face on and hope nobody messed with me. For the most part, that tactic worked. I only got in one fight and even though I tecnically lost (I foolishly let him get too close to me, there are no fair fights in jail), nobody ever bothered me in that particular lockup again.

Once, when I was walking around the cell block I passed an open door and saw an acquaintance getting a tattoo.

Before I go any further with the story, let me explain the conditions surrounding the jailhouse tattoo. First of all, in the county lockup general population, personal tape players are not allowed. The motors in those Walkmans are what is used to make the tattoo 'guns' you see in all those prison shows like 'Oz' and the like. I don't know how it was done, and it doesn't matter; we didn't have one so we had to improvise.

First you had to make the needle: a sharpened, straightened out staple usually did the trick. The staple was then placed on the end of a toothbrush and melted in place so it didn't move during the artistic torture. Once it was set, a thread was wrapped around it to hold the ink while it was being etched in the skin.

Speaking of the ink, Oh God...

One would think, or at least hope, that the ink was simply taken from a ball point pen or something but we were not so lucky. First, the backs of two legal pads were taped together and the resulting cylinder was placed on another legal pad back. Styrofoam cups were placed inside and set on fire with a smuggled lighter. The resulting soot was scraped off the cardboard, mixed with shampoo and voila! Now you had hepatitis. I mean ink.

The needle would be dipped into the ink and then poked into the skin until the mark stayed. Don't fool yourself folks, this process hurts! And here I was watching this torture process happen, wincing in sypathetic agony with every grimace this bozo made as he was poked.

And once again, one of those strange thoughts came into my head.

I want one of those.


Since this is a pretty long story and I want to at least pretend to be intriguing, check back in a day or two for part 2 of this story. The #1 Body Piercing Jewelry Website on the Net Today

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

I am forty years old.

Thirty five years ago I had what was probably my very first alcoholic beverage. It was a tasty concoction named 'Cold Duck'. I remember drinking some and asking at least three adults for more before my mom caught me and made me stop. I don't remember being drunk or bursting into hysterical tears when the New Years gunfire began. Unfortunately everyone on my mothers side does, as they remind me every chance they get. I did not have a drinking or drug problem.

Twenty five years ago I smoked my first joint. I didn't get high, but that didn't stop me from smoking another one the next day and getting different results. I did not have a drinking or drug problem.

Twenty years ago I was in the Marine Corps and drinking heavily, borrowing money from other marines to go to the bars to get drunk. I did not have a drinking or drug problem.

Fifteen years ago I snorted my first line of cocaine. Soon after that, I no longer bothered with paying rent or buying food. I began living on the roof of the nightclub I worked at. I wasn't homeless, my home was on the roof of the nightclub. I was merely houseless. I did not have a drinking or drug problem.

Ten years ago I was a full fledged crack addict. I was working but still homeless. I knew where the best crack and never worried about where to get my next meal because I knew what churches served food and gave bus tickets (aka the 'Tramp Trail'). I had low self esteem, I smelled bad, and I would pray for death when I lay down to go to sleep and get angry at God when I woke up the next morning. I was beginning to think I had a drinking and drug problem.

Five years ago on April 19, 2000 I had a strange knowledge: not that I would die soon, not that I needed help, not that I was a crack addict but the only certainty I had was that the next day I would go to rehab and sit there until I was admitted. I had five dollars in my pocket. I went to the shelter and laid down to sleep. For the first time in a long time I didn't pray for death. The next morning at 4am I woke up and checked into rehab. I still had the five dollars.

Last week I saw that someone had dropped a bag of weed here:

Posted by Hello
I paused, looked at it, hesitated, snickered and stepped over it and went to the train station to go to work.

Today my landlord trusted me to deposit his rents into his account (I manage his boarding house).

Next month I am officially off parole in the state of Georgia.

I'm not bragging about these things, it's just that sometimes I'm a little hard on myself and I need to remember these things to remind me how grateful I truly am.

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Thursday, April 21, 2005

King Solomons Secret.

Unless you've been in a cave somewhere, you've heard of the media phenomonon known as "American Idol". I try to miss it myself, unliess I can latch on to someone who's actually been on it so I can at least have a fleeting glimpse of fame vicariously. Squint a little at the picture above and you may recognize the almost famous Rob Solomon, the projectionist from Smyrna who may or may not have given Paula Abdul a headache. It looked like that to me when he auditioned for the show in New Orleans.

It's not that Rob's a bad singer; he's pretty good in fact. I've heard him play with his now defunct band, "Made In China" a couple of times and I've enjoyed it immensely. I've even heard him sing karaoke and he brought the crowd to it's feet. He's just not 'Idol' material and he knows that. He just wanted an excuse to go to New Orleans and meet the judges.

I've never told him this and if you tell him I said it I'll call you a liar to your face, but I sort of look up to him for his determination to do whatever it is he wants to do. If he wants to sing a song by Journey on karoke night he does it. I have to work up the courage to do it. If he wants to make a short film parodying the horror genre, he does it. I have to beg for a bit part and once I get it I screw it up royally (If he gives me permission, I'll set up a link to the movie "Unseen Force". It won't get an Oscar, but it's pretty good up until my part comes in).

So, I've decided that I'm going to do some of the things that I want to do, like learn to play the guitar and sing songs that cause people to leap out of their seats and give me standing ovations, or buy a maxi class twist 'n go scooter or maybe even learn to ride a motorcycle.

I'm starting right now by keeping my mind on positive things and reading inspirational self help books by Bill Ferguson and Brian Tracy. I'm using software like GoalPro and PlanPlus. With the help of tools like this and more, maybe I can learn to get what I want as well.Posted by Hello

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