Sunday, January 30, 2011


I came in last night after work. I had my phone on silent but that wouldn’t work so I eventually turned it off.
I watched a movie, “Heavy Metal in Baghdad,” which has been out for some time. I felt horrible at the end when the whole band is watching their own movie, their own footage. They are all so excited to see themselves play and then they begin talking about how their family told them not to come home to Baghdad, all this while they had fled to Syria.
They cry at the end of the movie, they see for the first time video images of their old practice studio bombed, the rubble, the ghosts of their past… The dead coming back to life through memory.
One fellow looks broken and calls us pigs. Presumably the Americans.
It shows the other side of the so-called enemy. The man who simply wants freedom, wants to pursue art with no political ties or affiliations.
All they want is to have the same opportunities as us. I can respect that.
In the end they sell their instruments just to pay the rent.
I’d been in my apartment for two hours, just sitting their motionless in a hard wood chair in the middle of the night drinking an orange soda, watching sipping… watching sipping. Flat soda sipping… Mixing what’s left with a glass of Schweppes seltzer from a two-liter bottle. Sipping until all the orange was practically gone.
The urge to relieve myself came and I stepped into the bathroom. I pulled the chord down and the light flickered on. The blossom of light brought about an enemy intruder and the sound of a gasp.
My eyes set upon one of the largest rats I’ve ever seen in my life, arms and legs outstretched with beady eyes wide open facing me, lifeless.
Goosebumps rose throughout my core and I jumped back making a sickened noise over and over. I closed the lid on the toilet and put a heavy amp on top. Just in case the rat comes back from the dead, opens the lid, and attacks me.
I paced back and forth.
How in the hell did it get inside? Now I’ve seen a little mouse here and there in apartments over the course of time. But this was a mammoth rat! Just the look of that huge tail gave me the chills. God knows how long it was there but it was certainly bloated as well and I hadn’t been home for two days.
For someone who takes photographs of any and everything I couldn’t muster up the guts to even open the lid again and look at it.
Now you see rats everywhere but this dead beady-eyed rat was in my toilet, in my apartment, and what if it had crawled up at me when I was sitting down. Just the thought makes me want to puke.
That’s it from now on the lid will forever be closed and I’ll have to flush before going to the bathroom as a preliminary fail-safe.
And why would I take a photograph? Who would I show? Who wants to go over to a guy’s house that has mammoth killer rats coming up through his toilet?
I left the bathroom light on, closed the French doors, and pondered flushing the toilet. But it just looked too big, too bloated.
I decided the best option was waking up early in the morning and going over to Bernies to grab him and have him take care of it.
This is the point of a super.
I woke up at 6 am feeling a ruffle on top of the blankets and violently heaved them onto the ground, flipped on the light, and jumped on top of my blankets over and over creating a raucous for the prep cooks in the kitchen setting up below me. But it was just my imagination, getting to me, sticking it to me, even in my time of what’s supposed to be comfortable dreams of sandwiches and girls this rat was taking over. Moving in, destroying me. I lifted the blankets up…nothing… I set them back on top of my bed properly in a ball.
I bided my time by reusing the same green tea bag three times, not because I’m cheap but because I hate wasting. Ok, I’m a little bit cheap. By 8am I was separating the cans and bottles from the paper and the actual waste into separate garbage cans. I walked across the courtyard over and up and in front of Bernies door.
Knock knock with my hand, but you can’t just get to Bernie that easily, first our ritual, “Who?”
“It’s me.”
“Me who?”
“It’s me me,” and the locks began twisting.
Bernie answered with disheveled hair, boxers, a wifebeater, a significant flood of heat incomparable to mine which gave grounds for further argument in due time but lets get down to the main subject at hand. The mammoth killer rat in my toilet with beady eyes bloated to the core trying to push the amp off the toilet lid to finally complete its killer mission.
It was the first time I’d ever seen Bernie without his glasses on, his lights were off and the shades were drawn. It’s easier to get the supers help if it appears you’re the early bird and they are sleeping the day away.
“Bernie, you gotta help me out man, there is a huge rat in my toilet… What should I do?”
He scratched his head and laughed, “Ahhh, just flush it. If it came through the pipe then it can go back down.”
“No but…”
“Are you scared of a little mouse? C’mon… It’s 8:17 in the morning.”
“No, you don’t understand. It’s huge! It’s not going to make it back down…It’s going to get stuck and we are going to have a real problem!”
“Listen to me… mice don’t have backbones, it is impossible for it to get stuck. If it came in it can go back down,” he spoke in an endearing manner now, “Just trust me, flush it, trust me.”
I was sitting outside his door practically begging. If anyone heard me they’d know my weakness. If they wanted me out of the building… Getting rid of my blasting music late night ways and dancing with girls to a crooning Frank Sinatra or the same Doors “Soft Parade” blasting on loop getting louder and louder and obscene and obnoxious with windows open and scarily out of tune guitars screaming… Well, this was their chance. All they’d have to do was simply fire-escape it to my window and unleash some rats and I’d be gone the next day.
“Man I am telling you Bernie this rat is bigger than my leg! Come over now.”
I was trying to keep my tone down; I didn’t want anyone else in the building to hear me, which makes no sense because we all share the same pipes.
“Look,” Bernie said, I knew right at that instant he wasn’t coming over, “Just try to flush it and if that doesn’t work I will come over. Just call me and I will come over,” Again endearing, worming his way out.
I came into my apartment and the amp was still on top of the toilet. Without even looking I flushed the toilet and it sounded pretty smooth, a grade A flush.
I opened the lid and there it was, three-fourths of its body gone but its head and arms outstretched as if it was holding on for me, for our freakish romance. I had slammed the door on her and locked the door and tried ejecting her but she held on, staring right at me, solemnly asking me uncomfortably, “Why?”
I flushed again, then again, on the fourth flush the water didn’t filter through at all and now my fears were bubbling up.
A man with carpeting you should know!
Waters rising, rat lodged, and a phone call to Bernie, “I told you this god damned rat was too big now get the hell over here and help me out man!”
Bernie just giggled. It’s always a good time to laugh when the parched rats of the universe try to infiltrate your tenants apartment. And when that tenant desperately calls make sure they know you mean business by letting out a big chuckle.
When Bernie came inside, the water slowly rising, the first thing he tried to do was flush the toilet again, then he got the plunger, then he just laughed and mutters, “Ooh you’re right thasss a big one!”
In the meanwhile I was over his shoulder making disgusted noises pacing about.
Bernardo left and reentered with a little stick that he found by the garbage, he prodded and poked until its body slid out of the portal. He pulled it up, reached his hand into a black plastic trash bag and grabbed the rat.
“You wasn’t joking this thing is huge! Oh my… Ohhh my.”
He walked towards me wagging the rat around acting like he was going to brush up on me with it making ghost sounds and making a little rat face. I opened the door and he started making fun of me in Spanish to the guys installing the new carpet in the hallway. The same guys that buzz my door every weekday morning at 7 am. They just buzz everyone’s door in the building until someone lets them in. At first I’d wake up, now I hear mine…Lay there, the buzzer across the hall…then the buzzers down the hall, then above me until the buzzes finally fade out. Then comes the hammers, the drills, the radio.


Is the infatuation good material or message boards? Just like John Rambo said after looking at his compass knife, "Fuck 'Em." Jesus Quintana said it with some gusto, "Laughable... man!" Here's two of my favorites, blowing away the bullshit down Blizzard avenue.

Saturday, January 29, 2011


It took five seconds to remember my password but I'm back inside. Just purchased a ticket to Bulgaria today! Also just got this flier and wanted to post it. The Dardys and Micks Jaguar...In Yo Face! I guess this means I'll begin with the posts again, one flier won't satiate enough.