Joel and I woke up in the van. well, I woke up in the van first, somewhere around 7AM. i walked to the nearby auto shop we had been towed to – their doors already open with Pink Floyd blasting. i told the lady of our new problems of the van not starting and she said her husband would take a look at it and to get Joel out of the van.
i woke joel up and gave him a few minutes to gather his shitty mind while i walked to an adjacent gas station to buy any drink with the word “electrolyte” printed on it. as i bought some waters and a few caffeinated beverages, the woman behind the counter made fun of me.
“you better fix that finger up better than that. if i see you again, i’m goin’ to give you a whoopin’. don’t be trying to be a man and act like it don’t hurt, alright?”
joel and i walked behind the auto shop to a japanese tea garden.
the koi fish, who were all different colors, swam up to joel and i while we sat at a bench like an old married couple that had started a punk band and one was covered in blood.
then we fucked off and walked into town in search of breakfast, joel convincing me that maybe i should seek medical attention at some point during the day. i reluctantly agreed. on the way into town, joel got a text from Dan.
if you remember from before, Dan, Max, and Pat, all left with Sophie to walk to her house and a dude who was sleeping on the ground followed them. when questioned about the motherfucker, Sophie declared “he’s coming with us”. joel theorized this was a bad idea.
the text from dan read something like this:
“shit got fucked up last night, i had a knife behind my back, talk to you soon”
we went to the New Moon Cafe and I did not take pictures, so here is a picture of some other people at it. just to note, it took me a solid minute of staring at that thing on the table to realize it was a dog and not two pounds of hamburger meat placed in a dwarf baby stroller.
i had eaten there once before and assured joel that it was a good joint. we sat down and waited, and it looked like there was just some janky nu-metal kid with a chain wallet trying to serve an entire restaurant. it took him forever to get to us and he denied me the opportunity to charge my phone behind the counter, saying the ipod docking station was being used.
after a while, a well-groomed man around our age sat down. we started talking to him and found out that he is from Los Angeles, his name is Garen, and that he is a lawyer who travels a lot for work. after finding out he was Armenian, we talked about System of a Down and how he grew up with them.
System of a Down are a nu-metal band that people like our server, with the chain wallet, typically listen to. but to be honest, i have always held a special affinity for them because they seemed far more creative than other radio metal. and because the guitarist punched Brent Hinds (the asshole that everyone has a story about) from MASTODON in the face. Garen told us about how some of his family members are musicians, then paid for our meal.
if you are in the Los Angeles area and you need a lawyer, let me suggest Garen L. Kirakosian from Girardi Keese. he is a nice, personable, caring individual who is also well-dressed. he eats breakfast. most good people eat breakfast.
we fucked off from that place and managed to catch a bus into the Sea Mar Community Health Center after contemplating walking the distance. on the bus, we received a decent tip from a guy that we could buy a case of 5 hour energy drinks from dollar tree for very little. i made a mental note of it.
once we got to the health center, joel sat in the waiting area while i filled out forms and got a few stares from being covered in blood. very quickly my name was called and i was lead back into an office where i chatted with a nurse for a minute before waiting for the doctor. on the way, i was weighed and found out that i had gained approximately ten pounds from the beginning of tour.
to preserve his job, i will call the doctor “Dr. Man” in case his boss feels like internet stalking him for some reason.
the door came open and a dude, yes a “dude”, around his early thirties came in. the following conversation took place.
“hi, i’m dr. man. so what happened?”
“i smashed a bottle over my head.”
“who were you trying to impress?”
“well, im in a band so i guess a lot of people.”
“punk rock, huh? well, you’re going to need some stitches.”
“don’t stitches hurt?”
“yeah. but you like pain, don’t you?”
“no, not really.”
“we’ll get you something then.”
Dr. Man started to leave the room when i called after him.
“hey, Dr. Man. i’m sorry you have to waste your time giving stitches to some idiot like me. i know you probably have better things to do and other people to see,” i said.
“it’s fine. we all do fucked up shit. i fell through a glass window once. see you in a minute.”
the nurse led me into another room along with another nurse. both of them taking things out of cupboards while Dr. Man put on rubber gloves. he asked for some sort of disinfectant packets, and after getting them, asked the nurses to close the door. then he threw the packets against the wall and said,
“i don’t know why they gave me these fucking things. they suck. i’m not going to use them.”
the two of us sat and talked for a while. i found out my doctor was an angry anti-corporatist with numerous gripes with the medical industry. i also found out he takes a lot of bubble baths and listens to new age music but before, he used to be into a lot of electronica. while stitching me up, he laughed a lot and apologized, saying he was doing an awful job.
“when you go to a doctor to get these removed, they’re going to laugh at you. see, that’s how we get you – we stitch you up, then we make you go back to a doctor to get them removed.”
then he explained to me how to remove them myself.
i left with a lot of free gauze and tape. i still haven’t received a bill, which either means he’s as cool as i thought or so cool that he’s incompetent.
so they got back to the house and the dude started being weird right away, demanding that everyone play him a song because they were in a band. after singing his own moronic songs for a while, he eventually declared Pat as the drummer in the band. his reasoning being that he had somehow decided that Pat and Sophie were an item and that the drummer “always gets the girl.” Pat explained that the drummer always gets the guy and snuggled up with Dan. this did not pacify the guy, who was suddenly disgusted after finding out that Dan was the drummer.
at this point, Sophie started realizing that this fucking jackass was not in our band. he was just some dude who was sleeping on the sidewalk. by this point, the dude was insisting that he was the drummer in the band.
“i am the drummer in the band. the drummer always gets the girl. the drummer ALWAYS gets the girl.”
so in case you can’t read between the lines, our sweaty dude was staking claim to our friend. because he is the drummer in the band.
for being a piece of shit, he was cast out of the house by everyone and told that he had to leave. somehow, this turned into a 4th grade sob story about how everyone is against him, but he left.
when everyone went out to smoke sometime later, he was still out there. dan grabbed a knife, sophie pretended to call the cops. dunno what pat was doing, but max got into the guy’s face and delivered a walloping Bill Hicks style rant to the tune of:
“look, pal. you seem like a nice guy. i’m a nice guy. you seem like you’ve got some fuckin’ problems. i’ve got some fuckin’ problems. you need to leave right now or i will beat the shit out of you. and if i see you tomorrow, i will beat the shit out of you.”
and he sulked off. sexless and reckless. that’s the story. also, while i was sitting at Sophie’s house listening to them explain to me what happened, i found an index card with the words “I AM THE DRUMMER IN THE BAND” written on them. a souvenir from our friend. the index card is now affixed to the van’s dashboard.
joel and i went to pick up the van, where we were charged $300 less than the pieces of shit at Midas in Missoula wanted to charge us. they also included a veterans discount to us for little to no reason at all. we saddled up, threw away all the rotten food from leaving our cooler out. as seen in the background of this picture, i relished the closing of a nearby Subway restaurant and cheered as we left to go to Portland with a new, tight, responsive brake system.
we got to Portland and went straight to The Know. there was an AC/DC pinball machine and the bartender was wearing a FORWARD/WARHEAD shirt. i went walking down the road and, in an effort to lose some of the ten pounds i gained in a week, found some Caveman Diet food truck where i drank beef tendon broth and ate bacon wrapped dates with almonds in the middle along with some kale salad. i had no idea what a Caveman Diet was, but i noticed a number of people meeting next to the food truck, talking about it.
i’ll sum up the evening fairly well as i don’t remember a lot of went on because i had started drinking tequila in an effort to become more healthy.
everyone in or near The Know was or is currently in From Ashes Rise, another Southern Lord band (HAHAHA). our friend Kyja and her husband Zach came and hung out. i ran into a few kids from Minneapolis. we played and i threw cough drops into the crowd while everyone clung to the sides, minus a few super fucked up weirdos who were moshing.
Organized Sports are not broken up and are still one of my favorite bands and Bi-Marks (members of Nerveskade!) are one of the only bands that can play that bullshit doom/southern/whatever tinged hardcore and have it not be totally laughable. wait, now that i watch this video maybe all they’re doing is just playing Black Sabbath riffs once and a while.
some kids almost got into a fight and one of them ran out, chased by another in tow who was grasping a knife. when i talked to the kid who had been running with the knife, he complained to me how he got stopped by some cops.
“what are you doing?”
“i’m going to kill this motherfucker!”
“don’t do that or we will arrest you. give me your knife.”
then they just let the kid go.
we ended the evening back at Sam from Organized Sports’ house. on the way, we stopped at a 7/11 so Sam could get some nachos. watching Sam eat gas station nachos felt like something i had been waiting to see since the day i was born.
“we went through a lot of babysitters.”