small brush shouldn't fuck with big timber

Death's Door, the view from the Spanish announcers table: My autobiography, “A beginning”

Tuesday, October 18

My autobiography, “A beginning”

Dogs are honest and faithful to those they love but they tend to worry too much and find fault with others. They make ideal secret agents or business people. They only love and care about a few...the rest can suck a dick

According to the Chinese calendar I was born in the year of the Dog, as was the buxom and talented Dolly Parton, despite the fact that to my knowledge we’ve never formally been introduced. I was to be the second of three children born into my small but sturdy family. My parents had immigrated into Missouri from that great Lone Star state which is Texas, leaving behind the small dusty farm where they both spent their early youth as sharecroppers picking cotton for the Man. But being of an adventurous mind, my father urged his child bride and former high school queen to follow him north to the big city, because he felt a calling that he couldn’t resist; a calling to forgo pitch and fork and to find a better way of life for his growing brood. So they loaded up the wagon and using the stars as his only guide, off they set to make the long arduous journey. It wasn’t too long after they arrived that I, yes I, came screaming into the world.

Now as family legend goes, when I came forth into the world after being delivered by my mother in the custom of her people, which consisted of her spending a fortnight in the woods by the river, accompanied only by the old birthing witch woman and a pack of wild dogs. I was red as a beet which perplexed my father to no end, because he started fearing the worse, being that the old farm sat on the edge of the local reservation. And he feared that my mother had beset herself upon one of the local Native American populace and I was the end result of that union. But luckily after a few days my father regained his sanity due no small part to my natural color coming in.

Ah, those were wondrous years, living on the east side in that small second floor walkup, never having enough to eat but happy never the less. It was during this period that I started dancing for nickels on the corner to help support the family whilst my older brother worked the whores that frequented my parents fruit stand on a daily basis. I would dance barefoot on that dusty corner for what seemed like hours, accompanied only by the sounds of the street and a jaunty whistle from my lips. Then I’d take my nickels and run to the butcher down the block where I would purchase a few scraps of meat for my mother’s stew that night. After the dinner table was cleared my mother would read to my brother and I from the Bible whilst my father would sit in his old rocker by the fire, warming his feet and smiling at us as we gently admonished my mother on her pronunciation. What simpler and happy times those were, even though we had it rough our love and happiness knew no limits. But as the good book says, all good things must come to an end, because with the birth of my baby sister my father had some tough decisions to make.

So here’s how things stood, our small, poor but loving family had another mouth to feed in the joyous precocious bundle of love that was my baby sister. By the time of her birth my mother and father had put behind them the fruit stand and my father had started what was to be his life long career in law enforcement, whilst my mother turned to the huge retail giant that was Sears & Robuck. He walked the mean streets of Kansas City in the endless search for crime and she worked the huge Sears sweatshop carving out wooden address numbers by hand. You know the ones, you put em over your front door and they spell out your address. I still see em all over.

But even with the new incomes the belt tightening could only go so far, because we had also moved out of the dirty second floor walkup and now resided in a small bungalow located within an enclave of police officers who lived near one of the city’s great parks. It was here that my father approached my mother with the idea that would shape my life forever. He was afraid that by living in the big city his son’s were in danger of losing their identity and their sense of self worth. So he put forth a plan to let us roam and travel free as he did as a youth, and as his father did as a youth. But my mother balked at his plan because she could not face the thought of both her boys out away from her arms roaming the world like gypsies.

She pleaded with my father to let her keep one, and because he loved her with all his might, he relented and chose only one of us to go out into the world. And soon it came to pass that with a heavy heart I stood in the front yard of my parent’s house, holding nothing but a cheap suitcase along with my father’s old hunting rifle. Standing on the porch sobbing were my mother, father, and my brother who held my baby sister in his arms. With one last look I turned around and started trudging up the dirt road to where I would meet the bus that would take me to my new world, a world of whores, pimps, booze and drugs. A world where I would have to be cunning to survive, a world where every vice was my friend, and every friend could be my enemy. But as I climbed the steps onto the bus, I felt assured that this was the right thing to do and in doing so I would insure that my family would survive. And that I would be fine, yes, I would be fine.

My bus let me out in a part of town that I would call home for the rest of my life, Midtown Kansas City. This was a place of many wonders; hookers, pimps, drugs dealers, musicians, the Plaza, Westport. But I digress, so let me describe my new world for a moment if I may. I moved into a group of apartments located at forty-fifth & Main. Just a few doors down sat the Submarine and its sister bar, the Sub’s Pub. Across the street from my front door stood the Hilton Hotel which held the Tiki Bar, and if you travel up the street a block or so, there stood the Dover Fox, which was for men only I was told.

Across from there at forty-third and Main stood another bar, and if you traveled a short distance more you ran into the Adult Emporium, which was the city’s largest adult bookstore, I guess that they sold only hard to read books and such. And if a young feller had a car, with a couple of minutes drive he was in reach of the Pink Garter on Main, or it’s sister bar on Broadway, Jerry’s Silver Slipper, where for no cover charge you could watch a comic and a bunch of men in dresses sing and dance. Westport was nothing more then a few bars and a lot of head shops run by damned dirty old hippies, and the Plaza was well, the Plaza.

I was so happy in my new home, every Sunday after church I’d write my mother back home and tell her about the new friends I had met and the wonders I’d seen. Who knew that hooker’s were such friendly people? Why it was nothing to be driving up Main Street and have four or five run up to the car and ask me out on a date. But being the shy withdrawn young man that I was, I would thank em all kindly and drive away wishing I had the gumption to take one of em out. Cause they seemed like such nice girls and such.

The day that changed my life was a bright and sunny day in July when I stumbled into the Sub’s Pub on Main. I had just seen Star Wars a couple of months earlier and as I stood in the doorway of the bar all I could think of was the cantina scene from the movie. Cause in front of me milling around were people that I’d never seen before in my young life. There were patchouli wearing damned dirty old hippies talking politics with men in business suits, off in the corner were two men kissing and feeling each other up. Standing at the bar were four or five bikers who were watching two girls arm wrestle. For a young man new to big city ways, I felt like I was in a daze until clear as a bell this voice rung out. “Hi, can I get you something”? So I walked up to the bar and was soon in possession of my first drink which turned out to be something called an amoretto sour.
(to be continued)

"and the monkey flipped the switch"


Blogger Sid said...

"It was during this period that I started dancing for nickels on the corner to help support the family..."


12:06 AM  
Blogger Ole Blue The Heretic said...

Wonderful way you put all of that

7:02 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home