Acid Heroes

December 11, 2014

The rain in Spain falls mainly on the pained

Filed under: Backwords from Ace — Ace Backwords @ 6:45 pm
Tags: ,

It really started raining this morning around 7 AM. I was sleeping in a doorway. I quickly packed up my blankets and headed down to Shattuck to this bagel shop where I ordered a delicious pastrami-and-swiss-cheese-bagel (with everything on it naturally). Now, its 9:30 PM, 14 hours later, And its STILL raining non-stop. According to my math thats 14 hours of nonstop rain. Give or take a couple minutes. Which is why I have this peculiar facial expression. But I’m in a bar now and I got beer and the waitress (Kips) is hot and they’re playing Pink Floyd. . . So it could be a lot worse.



A major storm hit the Bay Area this morning. They’re predicting 60-mile-an-hour winds, and 4 to 6 inches of rain in a 24-hour period. To put it in perspective, that’s as much rain as we usually get in an entire month. It’s a winter wonderland. This is my 11th winter on the streets. I was thinking (as I’m sometimes wont to do) that there should be a special name for the people who have survived over a decade on the streets. . . “Chronic homeless” sounds like a disease. And “long-time homeless” is too inelegant. . . . One wag suggested “burned-out loser.” Hmm . . . Yeah. That’ll work.



I decided to brave the rain and trudge down to the McDonald’s on Shattuck and University. It’s one of the few places in the area where the homeless can get of the rain for awhile. A dollar cup of coffee buys you 2 or 3 hours of warm-and-dry. Invaluable on a day like today . . . But when I get down there I discover — much to my chagrin — that the place is all boarded, thanks to the righteous protesters – slash – rioters who have been on the rampage the last three days. Right on.



A homeless guy rushes for cover.

















  1. And here I was cursing the SF storm because it knocked the internet-archive servers down and I can’t get to my eBooks. Hang in there ace, global warming is coming and soon the bay area will be like Belize.

    Comment by hardears_pickney — December 11, 2014 @ 9:46 pm | Reply

    • Ha ha. I’m actually glad its raining. It cooled off all the idiot “rioters” who were smashing up and looting the businessrs.

      Comment by Ace Backwords — December 11, 2014 @ 11:17 pm | Reply

  2. Hope you and the cats make it through ok. Looks pretty rough on the news– ( I’m in Pa)

    Comment by Rich — December 11, 2014 @ 10:17 pm | Reply

    • Them cats are pretty resilient. They’re stuffed with food and in excellent condition. I’m sure theyre holed up somewhere sleeping 20 hours a day and dreaming of glorious cans of cat food that will one day be theirs.

      Comment by Ace Backwords — December 11, 2014 @ 11:20 pm | Reply

  3. The rain doesnt seem to bother my feral cats much. Its the wind that freaks them out. It batters against the trees and makes a loof noise. And I think they think its all the other creatures — potential predators — lurk out there. They’ll often take off running in a full sprint for no apparent reason.

    Comment by Ace Backwords — December 12, 2014 @ 2:21 am | Reply

  4. Hope you make it through the storms okay. I’m inside here in Oregon. There are many, many people living outside. Brutal cold always cloudy. 11 winters dude… You should get A prize of some kind. I spent many winter outside but usually in southern Arizona or Southern California. Little rain and I almost always had a van or pick up.I love the stories about the cats. I was seeing deer get really freaked out by the wind and looking for the predators
    There is something in your attitude about the winter weather that makes me think of Zen Buddhism. You are resigned you are philosophical. It is quite interesting what you have to say.

    Comment by Head for the hills — December 12, 2014 @ 10:11 am | Reply

  5. The title is very original and very good. The rains in Spain…

    Comment by Head for the hills — December 12, 2014 @ 10:13 am | Reply

    • I’m just glad to hear this stuff sometimes makes sense to other people. I’m like Bukowski who always said: “First and foremost I write to save my own ass.” I’m the same way. I find it soothing to lay down a coherent, linear line. It helps me personally to make sense of my mad, mad life. But I could imagine most other people being bored or confused by this shit. I’m always operating at that border-line juncture between making sense and slipping into total madness.

      Comment by Ace Backwords — December 13, 2014 @ 1:41 am | Reply

      • You make a lot of original things. If civilization stays together another 40 years or so, there will be people praising your work and making a movie about you and so on. I’m 10 years older than you and I drink enough coffee already. I look at you and I feel I would never write to make money . I agree that it is good for you to write to keep yourself is super frustrating to do creative work in order to make money. So many people suffer this way. But… To write to save yourself is very practical.I guess I am also jealous that I am not so creative and smart. I just like to enjoy things and keep my health. I am amazed what you go through. The weather is even shittier up here in Oregon. There are huge numbers of homeless people here.

        Comment by Head for the hills — December 14, 2014 @ 5:20 am

  6. Instead of burned out loser or chronic homeless, why not call yourself super guy or Superman or super cat friend.!
    To put up with that crappy weather you got to be like a super genius or something. Ace… You’re doing something. You’re likeThe Spartans of long ago or a berserker !those were people who were Vikings and they were berserk.

    Comment by Head for the hills — December 14, 2014 @ 5:12 am | Reply

  7. In the rain, can’t you go to a coffee place like the one near the park? Or the public library?
    If I was in Berkeley now, I would be tempted to join the protesters but with a big sign saying save feral cats. !!Justice for feral cats.!! No cat food. No justice.!

    Comment by Head for the hills — December 14, 2014 @ 5:25 am | Reply

    • The kitties united will never be defeated.

      Comment by Ace Backwords — December 14, 2014 @ 7:58 pm | Reply

  8. Ace, your writing has always made since to me, even saved ( death by my own had) me, & put me back on the spiritual path. Keep on putting down those coherent, soulful lines. In my opinion, you are the last great living writer (along with Cormac McCarthy, although he is very dark).

    Comment by Jon — December 14, 2014 @ 6:28 pm | Reply

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