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December 5, 1996, Thursday

Again I found myself at Nemo's house. One of Ana's friends, a guy named Luke, had killed himself last night, and this became an issue of some discussion. The poor guy died of a broken heart it seems; his old girlfriend wouldn't have him back so he couldn't go on living. Had he just weathered the storm, he'd have it all to look back on as a necessary ingredient of maturity. But no, life had to end. It had proved to be more of an ordeal than he could have ever imagined. I remember such times myself, being amazed at how horrible life can be. The comfort of childhood provides no warning of such things to come.

Time was pissed away almost effortlessly. Nemo was the center of attention as usual, gleefully bouncing up and down for longer than I would have expected in a spring supported bouncing swing set up in a doorway. This allows him to build up strength in his legs before he can crawl or walk. In other things, I attempted to make a little Aquarius brand out of a piece of guitar wire. But it proved too flimsy and I couldn't find an easy way to make it hot enough. But Morgan was willing to try it if I could just get it working.

But the extent of his parasitism doesn't end there.
Morgan live on the couch at Nemo's house. But the extent of his parasitism doesn't end there. He also raids the refrigerator. When he asks Ana if he can something, she always says okay. But then she was telling me that the money situation isn't good at her house, that she can't go on food stamps since she is a German citizen, and that there's no way she could hire a babysitter at the wages she, as a high school dropout, could possibly earn. So she depends on Raphæl, who now works as a cook at Duner's west of town.

Jessika had to work at the Rising Sun Bakery, and she wanted me to drive her there in the Dodge Dart. The problem was that almost an inch of wet snow had fallen since my arrival. I started warming up the Dart and grabbed from Jessika's room the remains of the jug of vino from two days ago to provide possible alcohol assistance later this evening. Since I was the principle contributor to that vino's purchase, I felt this was my right. Naturally, though, Morgan seemed keenly interested in the jug's future. And even Jessika expressed concerns that I would drink it all while she worked.

And, with Jessika and Morgan, I left in the Dart, must unlike Raphæl, slowly and cautiously, allowing ample distance between me and the asshole in front of me. I was very concerned coming down High Street toward Preston from the vicinity of the Altamont, but I made the process gradual and survived. On Preston I noted that my tires spun even climbing the shallowest gradients. This was an ominous signs, since on 14th street there are real hills to climb. In the Dart the heavy engine serves to smush down the front tires while leaving the rear wheels, the ones that are motorized, with little relative pressure against the ground. The only time this is a problem is when there is snow. Then it came, 14th street. And sure enough, in front of me was one of those big University buses. And sure enough, it decided to come to a halt on the hill. This is where my wheels took to spinning madly, gaining me almost no ground as I cursed the bus and the fates. But somehow I made it. Going to my house on Wertland I almost slammed into a telephone pole when my breaks locked in a skid.

Morgan bummed a cigarette from my housemates and then set off to find beer at Jeremey's while I watched a particularly humourous episode of the Simpsons. In this case it was the tale of a recalcitrant dog adopted by the Simpson kids. It would learn nothing, even when taught by a very doo dee doo British dog trainer who worked miracles on all the other dogs. The episode borrowed heavily from that Schartzenegger movie Predator, showing the world through the dog's eyes (black and white) and parsing their voices (gibberish, until the end, when he started learning stuff).

After a little experimentation at Comet with creating visual consistency on my Big Fun web pages (failed though they were) I headed to the Bakery, armed with a six of Beast Ice, to drop in on Jessika, then washing dishes. Some teenage black kids were in front of the Subway throwing snowballs. When they threw them at me I put my hand in my pocket (like I had a gun or something) and approached them. One of them fled and another asked if I had a problem. They really started throwing snowballs at me when I continued on, but I'd made some kind of surreal point. She was somewhat drunk from beer. But there was more than just that, she was having trouble remembering from one event to the next, as though she was stoned (which she wasn't). Still, we were getting along well. First of all, she had a conversation with Head to Toe Leather about leather bondage gear. HTTL drew a diagram of what she was planning to make from scraps of leather she had found. Jessika mentioned all the rubber she had and that she intends to make punk rock gear (rubber mini-skirts and such) to sell to the punk rock mallrat girls on the Downtown Mall. Then Jessika showed me the inside of the massive Bakery circus-wheel ovens, which, as they slowly rotated above the gas jet flames, creaked and groaned as though they were part of THE UNDERLYING MECHANISM in Lynch's Eraserhead. She claimed she wanted to live and die in there. About this time she used a sports metaphor to describe a co-worker's pupils.

Inevitably Bad Beef showed up, having somehow driven through the ever-increasing snow accumulations just to be in the glorious presence of Jessika. Morgan also showed up, and naturally tried to bum a beer off of me. His parasitic behaviour is really starting to grate on me, especially since the little money he does have seems to get turned, not into food, but into cigarettes and alchol. It seems so ridiculous, pathetic, and to me, increasingly intolerable. I wouldn't care if his nihilistic tendencies were against the goverment, against the corportations, or against faceless strangers. But now they're against me and my friends. His summer of being a gutter punk has made him into a selfish beast, unwelcome company to anyone who isn't masochistic.

Meanwhile, the music was the Clash's London Calling. I skipped past the title track as my only say so in the music. But soon I realized that was the best track on the album. The Clash are even worse than I thought. They are horrible. At least I can tolerate, if not outright enjoy, most Greenday. This is not an oft-expressed view, but I really feel it: modern punk is so much better than that old crap.

She hollered after me some remark about the jug of vino, as though she was making a sacrifice.
I was feeling disgust with Morgan and disgust with Bad Beef (what, does he consider time spent with Jessika anything more than just her exploiting this case for a drive home?). I couldn't stay. I felt like I was another player in a particularly dull episode of the Game of Pricks. Jessika had to unlock the door to let me out and further stated that she wouldn't be visiting me at my house tonight. She hollered after me some remark about the jug of vino, as though she was making a sacrifice. It left me to wonder...if she won't visit me when I'm just down the street, then why should I ever drive across town to visit her, other than to keep her from complaining? It seemed suddenly that I'm the only one who is investing any real effort or resources in this relationship.

Back at my house, I holed up in my room and listened to music, Two Words, alone. There were interesting people at my house, Nellie for example, but I was not in a social mood, and no one was there to see me anyway. It seemed better to just wallow in my self-pity. As pathetic as it sounds, I found myself rubbing my own eyebrow and thinking it felt as good as if some sympathetic person was doing it for me.

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