Bad choices made, constantly



Nine Short Stories About Being Buried Alive

“Leave Us Alone We are Working on Blueprints”
Try this we are walking into the bar you and I and I turn to you and tell you I am scared to go in I am scared to be in there with them all I am scared to go outside now I don’t want to feel the aggravation and anger like I felt today I listen to this cd and I have to fucking shut it because I don’t give a fuck who broke this guys fucking heart I don’t give a fuck who broke anyone’s heart for that matter.

“John Travolta’s Facial Hair in the Film ‘Swordfish’”
I pissed out what seemed like a gallon and a half of beer, and then got in my car. The drive home was intense and dangerous. Art Bell telling me that people spontaneously go invisible. I took the barrel of the 9mm and pointed it at the woman and her son driving by me in the mini-van and lit another Kool.

“Oh, I Didn’t Realize Your Parents Molested You”
So when we arrived at the apartment of Timmy and Jenni I initially thought we were going to be surrounded by thieves and men with insurance plans; instead, we were surrounded by good drugs, and good jazz music from the late 70’s. One wants to believe that Timmy would not have good music, but for the remainder of the night we discussed how great the tone of Pat Metheney was in this particular year.

“A Visibly Drunk Liza Minneli Being Eaten by a Giant Orange Scorpion with Wings”
The first time one hears the song “the Magic Power” by “the other famous trio from Canada”, Triumph, one is filled with such a feeling of hope, you literally feel like Rik Emmett is going to jump through the speakers and give you a big hug. Hi, my name is Christian, and I am addicted to rock and roll music.

“The Drive Home to Your Wife After You Pay For Sex the First Time”
Oh how I enjoy that crisp wind that blows brown and bright blue air all over the world in the fall here in New England. Right now, the tail end of a winter I didn’t experience and it feels fresh and nice outside. I need to move myself somewhere good. Yeah I said this and did this already. Wait what?

“Adults Who Think Vampire Stuff is Cool”
I love fucking cole slaw, love it, absolutely love it. All of the cold “pre-made” salads are great too. My wife made this wonderful potato salad last week. I ate it all week at work. Her sister makes a great macaroni salad. I once knew a man from Ohio who made some pretty intense bean salad that was just delicious! Fuck I love it all! Fuck!

“The Ticket to the Jethro Tull Concert in Your Wallet While You Get Arrested”
I remember going to this day camp when I was a little kid. One weekend, they had a sleep over. I didn’t want to sleep over. I don’t like sleeping outside to this fucking day. I was supposed to meet a couple of friends in the middle of the night to get in trouble or whatever. The next day when I showed up, this big kid Kevin, his Kiss belt buckle glimmering in the hot summer of 78’ sun says to me “where were you last night?”. He was going to beat me up for not showing up to do whatever we were going to do. One day I fell on the trampoline and hurt my head crying and yelling, I felt paralyzed and freaked out. I think this is why I have problems in general now.

“Last Friday, When We Quit Smoking Cocaine”
Last night I dreamt that I was swimming in the ocean with a German Shepard, I was worried that my wallet was going to get wet so I asked him what to do, he said we couldn’t do anything, and to worry about it later. Great, talking German Shepards in my dreams now. He was cute. I have no idea what we were doing in the ocean, as I steadfastly refuse to swim as soon as someone suggests it.

“The Guy Doug Your Wife Fucked When She Was Nineteen”
The other night at dinner a friend asked if I was going to get a cat when I moved into my new place. I replied, “I can’t because I don’t want to deal with the inevitable death of the pet, the same reason I don’t want to get another girlfriend. I don’t feel like dealing with the eventual end of a relationship” I guess it’s part self-deprecation “humor” and partly true. I barely get attached to anything, people, places, opinions. This kind of rampant unsettling train of thought happening 27 hours a day. I guess everyone is like this right?

A Dream and a Journey By Train

So I had this dream last night, I was walking through this series of buildings, this complex if you will. It started with me walking up a balcony in some sort of theatre. A real steep balcony, with soft lights on the stairs, and red velvet at the top; glowing from another series of 4 or 5 lamps of soft light. It was elegant, but dirty at the same time. Contradicting the red velvet on the walls was a dirty, grimy, sticky cement floor. Old dried up soda, and chocolate covered raisins. Cigarette butts, and dank beer smell. There was a group of people sitting in one of the aisles. 5 or 6 people that looked familiar. No faces whatsoever, but they looked real familiar. As I passed them, they started blurting my name out. Right at this moment, I was all of a sudden with a girl with no face, no personality, nothing, just “a girl”. We were rushing by them, and I seemed to feel particularly embarrassed by the whole situation for some reason. We made our way out into this courtyard type are that was real European looking. Lot’s of real old buildings with amazing stones, and windows and doors. The doors. The fucking doors. No, not Jim Morrison and his motley crew of “Doors” Doors I kept opening. Looking in the rooms and hallways for something. One doorway would open to a wall. Another doorway would open to a long hallway with more doors along the walls inside it. There was one door that held the room I always see in my nightmares. A big room with huge ceilings, and a floor that is basically big rusty beams. Real damp, and dark this room. I always end up in this room. Scaling the walls, trying not to “fall in”. This room is huge, probably 20 yards wide by 30 yards long. I opened this door and shut it immediately. The next door I opened there was a man there. There was a stairway that looked exactly like the one in this old apartment building I used to hang out at. Four stories high, old wood banisters. Doorways with apartments you’ll never see. So I open this door, and this tall blonde guy with a Hawaiian shirt on. I pick the guy up by the collar and heave him down the stairs. I run down after him swearing. I throw him down the next stairway. I run down after him, and do it again. I do this until he’s at the bottom, and start kicking him in the stomach over and over. I go back into the courtyard. The alarm clock goes off.




The best vacations I have taken have all revolved around me seeing a band, usually it was the Grateful Dead. I don’t look like a “hippie”, but I learned years before, when I spent time in the punk rock scene for years, that it had nothing to do with what you looked like. Well, unless you are a punk rocker and you judge everyone who isn’t punk rock. Anyway, I just remembered my first trip by myself twenty or so years ago.


I bought this book listing every single Grateful Dead show available on tape from 1988-1995 or something like that. I opened it to February 25th 1990, in Oakland, California. I was twenty years old at the time. I was going to take a train from Boston all the way to San Francisco, and meet my best friend at the time, Derek there. He flew. I had never been away from home by myself for a long period of time, so this two week journey to see two Grateful Dead shows would prove to be a stepping stone to what I would still be doing ten years later, and define when I really feel myself. On the road, by myself. Previous to this show, I saw the band in the summer of 1989 and then a “famous” show in New Jersey in October of 1989.


So I get on this train in South Boston and I’m immediately feeling elated to be leaving, seeing the band, and seeing parts of the country I had never seen. I was a painfully shy person, but being on a train for four days straight will make even the most timid person a “life of the party”. I think we were maybe two hours into the trip, we stopped in Springfield, Massachusetts. The train was relatively empty, and I was lucky enough to score two seats, so I could sit at the window. In Springfield the train sort of filled up and I see this character walking down the aisle. About five feet tall, cowboy boots, denim jeans, a denim jacket, long black “ZZ Top beard”, and sunglasses (it’s 9:30PM in the dead of winter), a duffel bag in one hand, and a guitar slung around his shoulder. I of course make eye contact with him, and he immediately sits down next to me.


“HOW YA DOIN BUDDY, I’M JIM (I can’t remember his name at this point), WHERE YOU GOIN!!?”


“Ummmm, San Francisco.”






Yeah, real excellent.


So he starts talking and doesn’t shut up about music and traveling. It was interesting, but his voice, and overall demeanor made it a little hard to take him serious. The best part was yet to come though.




“No, I don’t really drink at all”




He opens his jacket and has two fifths in each inside pocket of the jacket, two nips in each breast pocket, opens his duffel bag, and he literally, no joke, had a little bit of clothing, and what looked like 6 more bottles of vodka. I got up and went to the restroom, and he showed up in there.




“No really, I’m all set”


So we get to Albany and I know what I have to do. I knew that we would be switching trains in Chicago in the morning, but I really couldn’t deal with him anymore. I got out of the train and went into the station and asked if I could get a room for the night on the train. It would be eighty bucks. I forked down the money and got my upgraded ticket.


I went back in and told “Jim” that they fucked up, my ticket stated I was to be in another train. A likely story, as anyone who knows Amtrak, you buy a cheap ticket, you sit wherever the fuck you want. I went to my room, and it was literally about the size of a stall in a restroom…okay the handicapped stall (which begs the question I often ask myself when I perpetually use the handicapped stall, can I get arrested for using this, or get a ticket? I mean it does seem to me the same crime as parking in one of the handicapped spaces, but the room in there is great, you get those railings in case you’re sick, drunk, or handicapped; it’s a whole new world in there. I imagine the women’s room to have a similar affect on me if I was to ever walk in a “good one”[as opposed to the one I was in at Saratoga Springs, New York, which was so dirty I thought I was in the men’s room]). It was tiny nonetheless, enough room to stand, and fold down the bed which was right against the window.


Waking up in Ohio the next morning was an absurd feeling. Ohio. Who lives in Ohio? Guided By Voices. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and ummmm…some other people that apparently love corn. So Ohio is pretty boring…on the train at least. I won’t ever just say a state is boring if I haven’t stepped on the soil there. Driving through Nebraska is as boring as watching ice melt, but when you get out and walk around a little, late, in the middle of a chilly, damp night you realize there’s nothing like it in the world. Nebraska.


So we arrive in Chicago, where you get to get on the double decker train. Much bigger, much more exciting. I still hadn’t seen “Jim”, but I was aware we was around. I did see him in the middle of the night actually for a couple of minutes at the bar (“why is he buying drinks with all that he has on him?”…I figured it out, he was just making his drinks even stronger, that’s apparently what you do or something when you’re a big drinker. Up the ante a little). The next time I saw him was in Denver where he was getting off. I went up to him and, knowing he was getting off for good and said:


“Hey Jim, I was looking for you the past day and a half to see if you wanted to hang out, we were supposed to be traveling together and all that…well, hopefully I’ll run into you again…have a good life”


It’s funny, all of the people I met on that first train ride it always ended with “Have a good life” What a strange departing phrase. There was no internet, well, not that I was using anyway, so there was no e-mail exchanging, and I was certainly not going to write anyone letters. I met a lot of great people. The most memorable after “Jim”, were the two old black men from Mississippi who got me drunk and told me stories about segregation, and John Lee Hooker and that kind of stuff. I have an amazing picture of one of the men reading the newspaper at dawn that I will post on here some day when I remember to scan it.


The other guy was an African fellow who was with me from Denver to San Francisco. He didn’t speak very good English, and he had a ton of money. He owned farms, had a big family, and traveled the world from time to time. Sam was his name. When we got to San Francisco, neither of us had been there before so we sort of hung out for a little while, until we got our shit together. I took a good photo of him at the San Francisco train station that I’d also like to put up here. I love meeting new people. I especially love it when I’m traveling though. You can’t really rely on small talk at all. You don’t have to make impressions though either. I like to put on an act from time to time when I meet people traveling. “Yeah, I’m a policeman in Boston” So this first trip was the first of a dozen of these, most of them small ones with friends, but I did three summers where it was two week excursions by myself that were both healthy, and bad for me at the same time. I had this a little on the first trip.


The train ride home got tedious. “Shit, Indiana again”


For subsequent summers, I will probably not be going on the same type of excursions though. There are no tours to follow around at my age. I am going to go somewhere though.. Either way, I need it again, and it can’t come any fucking sooner. That’s it, I’m going across country again.



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