I walked to Nemo's house today with the EXPRESSED PURPOSE of wasting time with Jessika. The reason I walked was that I hoped to find my tungsten carbide blade along the way. but I didn't. I did find a hub cap though, and I carried it along. The air on the east end of Preston Avenue smelled distinctly like my childhood girlfriend Jenny Mothershead. It had the quality of unkempt little girl mixed with granola somehow. Some smells linger in your brain a lifetime and I guess this is one of them.
Jessika, Zachary, Raphæl and Ana were just then wasting time with a stranger named Alex, a skinny 36 year old Cancer with shortish long hair and distinct cheekbones. He spoke with an obvious but not strong Shenandoah Valley accent. Just as I arrived, all but he and Jessika were about to leave to hang out at the sewage treatment plant or other such things that were more pleasant than hanging out with Alex.
Jessika introduced Alex as a "rock star" since he'd allegedly played with Stone Temple Pilots the night before, at least according to Steve Weiner, who had dropped Alex off at Nemo's this morning with much fanfare. I more or less figured out Alex right away: he appeared to be somewhat manic, insensitive, but willing to mold his opinions to suite those of his audience, in this case Jessika. An example of some of these traits come from a story Jessika told me. It seems earlier this day, Jessika had mentioned that smokers are inconsiderate. Alex's response was that he himself barely smoked anymore. But then in Nemo's while I was there he rudely lit up a cigarette in a clearly non-smoking house and protested could he just finish that one cigarette when Jessika told him he couldn't smoke it! He ended up touring the living room in pathetic search for an ash tray, his ash growing longer by the minutes. He was forced to abandon it in the toilet.
The only good I made of Alex was interviewing* him about his past use of heroin, back when he was a student at Virginia Polytechnic Institute in Blacksburg back in the early 1980s. He claims that the price for a fix then had been $70. Jessika and I were amazed (in Philly such a fix is $10, and it is also much more potent). We asked if he knew how cheap it was today. At this point he became paranoid and acted as though he feared we would try to sell some to him.
He told a twisted story about being beaten up by some rednecks in Buena Vista (Virginia) after failing to give a prostitute neighbor "dick and money." He went on to tell of his habit of watching television evangelists and then, fearing the end of the world, smashing the teevee. Jessika was most struck by that particular story.
I had Zach drive Jessika and myself to Pantops Shopping Center so we could get some vino. We purchased Carlo Rossi Paisano, which is about $9 these days. That's hardly the cheapest vino, but hell, I haven't had Paisano in a long time. Next I treated Zach to a 7 layer Burrito at Taco Bell as a token of my appreciation. Meanwhile Jessika heard some local boys at another table in the Taco Bell making "bull noises" at her, presumably because of her septum ring. I was in a confrontational mood and rather disappointed they'd left by the time we joined her at her table.
I spent the rest of the night hanging out with Jessika in her room, the warmest room in the house, the only really comfortable place there. Jessika was suffering from a stomach virus and she was running a fever of 100.4 degrees Farenheit. The fever made her experience the world as though, she guessed, she was on heroin. Matthew Hart and Morgan Anarchy came by intermittantly, but eventually Jessika had me lock the door so there would just be she and I in there. This act of rejection was just her excercising some belated control over the population of her tiny room, but it made me feel strangely guilty. In the end she kicked me out of her tiny bed, and I left, riding my bicycle home through the cold feeling somewhat rejected myself.
*My "interview style" is one of my most mocking attitudes, though the interviewees are never aware of this.
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