Another decade shot to hell

I remember exactly where I was on New Year’s 2010. Living in this little motel room in this trailer park in the middle of the Arizona desert. Everything had fallen apart in my life as year 2009 came to a close. So, for lack of anything better to do, I rented out this room in the middle of nowhere for a couple of months. And sat there licking my wounds, and trying to get some kind of perspective on what had happened to my life in Berkeley, and hopefully come up with some kind of Plan B.

But the amazing thing now that I think of it, is how FAST those 10 years flew by. New Year’s 2010 to New Year’s 2020.

And I realize the NEXT 10 years will probably fly by even faster. Which will bring me to age 73, about the average life-expectancy for the U.S. male. Though my, ahem, lifestyle has hardly been average. So there’s no guarantee I’ll make it that far.

The older I get the more aware I am of how fleeting this life is. Here today gone tomorrow. One minute you’re starting up your life. And the next minute it’s almost over.


(A Dark Period Wandering in the Desert — Both Literally and Figuratively)

I dream of Gina

Gina, caught in the classic “You got some ‘splaining to do, young lady!” pose.

Gina is a long-time Berkeley street person. Completely bat crazy. Doesn’t so much talk in English but makes these weird animal sounds. 

I remember one New Years Eve we’re all hanging out on the sidewalk outside Larry Blake’s right after midnight, ringing in the new year. Everybody buzzed and mellow. And Gina starts coming on to this guy, caressing him and hugging him. It’s New Years Eve and everybody’s getting a little loose after all. And suddenly she grabs hold of the guy by the hair and won’t let go and starts screaming “RAPE! RAPE! RAPE!” Ha ha. And for a second — as they’re violently grappling back and forth and he’s frantically trying to escape from Gina’s clutches — everybody thought she was fending off this guy who was trying to rape her. . . Fortunately — before people started beating the poor guy’s ass — people figured out what was going on.


One time I was hanging out at my vending table listening to the radio on my boom box. And the song “Angel is a Centerfold” by J. Geils came on — this song about this guy who’s dismayed to find out that his high school girlfriend had become a porno model. Gina happened to be passing by and when she heard that song she came charging over at me with a big crazy smile on her face: “THA’S MAH’ FAVORITE SONG!!” she said. And she stood there by the radio, singing/yelping along to the song and laughing like a loon.

Gina always made me a little nervous because she was so unpredictable. She was like a wild animal. She’s wasn’t a bad person really. Just really damaged and “out there.” She has some kind of brain damage, and most likely coupled with childhood trauma and abuse.  You meet all kinds of unique and unusual people on the street scene, that’s for sure.