Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor Pains on Labor Day, The Death of The American Artist, WTF TMI

"I had a kidney stone after giving birth to two daughters," one writer said. "Childbirth has nothing on kidney stones. When you are in labor the pain is like a wave. With a kidney stone it is constant. I would have 10 births before ever wanting to go through the pain of a stone."
--Testimony from witness in a move by John Gotti Jr. to get out of prison early due to Kidney Stones and cells being cruel and unusual punishment.

I’ve never written horror and I’m not to start right now but with the continuing pain in my sides shit is about to get scary. I do pretty well with pain for the most part as I’ve always prided myself on the old world mentality of take what’s given to you and get back up stronger and more determined if not a little bit bruised and sore. I’ve experienced most of the worst from a mental angle and a lot of physical pain but never what is described as the worst. The worst is one of the few things in this world that lives up to its reputation like heavily recommended cake or under performing politicians it often delivers as its name describes.

For the past three days I have felt a sharp consistent pain my right side just under my rib cage. It has since split to both of my sides it often feels as if I am on fire or being stabbed. I guess the best way to describe it is the moment you get your bearings back after just being socked in the stomach. It hurts like hell but it’s now manageable and the light is in sight. I’m not sick. I still have an appetite and I’m yet to get a fever or nausea. I’ve also kept all my appointments and have outside of the discomfort causing a lack of sleep I have functioned as normal as an Al can function.

According to the ever comforting, always accurate, and always opinionated voices of the web what I’m experiencing now is a 4 on a pain scale of ten. When this bad boy gets rolling it will shoot up to a 10 as it will feel as if a super nova is exploding inside of me. I will fall to my knees asking God to deliver on his promise of redemption as tears will roll down my fat cheeks. Years of fatty food and sin will deliver vengeance to the most innocent moment in my life and I will be ushered into to an emergency room where they will drug me back to sanity and decide if the rocks should just roll out of my uninsured pecker or if a lazar will assist.

The paradox of the situation is I don’t believe in a Government health care system yet right now between jobs I am uninsured. Believe me when I tell you thoughts of rusty needles inserted into my last muscle of pride have been dancing through my head like a taunting seductress who has no interest in me yet I can’t keep my eyes off. If I had insurance I would have already seen a doctor and considering options. Without insurance I have to wait till the crash so that I’ll be so full of rage and pain they will no option but to treat me or put me down. Either works at this point as I’m not picky and always interested in how the story ends. Best cause scenario is this is just the body correcting itself and it will all pass without assistance in the next day or so. Until then I search the web for what to do and where I can find a free clinic. For the record this is my cross to bear and I still don’t support a government run medical system. I made my bed and now I will yell in it.

I don’t mean to bore you with the actually of the world and the real struggles of real people. It’s silly when there is so much information about so many celebrities on Wikipedia that we can instead be talking about. I’m sure many politicians and celebrities can relate to a guy without insurance about to face the worst pain know to man. I feel like I’m on death row sorta like a modern day white Tookie Williams waiting for a call from the Governor. Maybe a few Hollywood hotshots will stand up for me and throw benefit in my honor. Time is working against us here boys, but I assure you I’m as morally truth worthy as Tookie ever was and I would appreciate it.

I never wondered what space smelled like until I heard an astronaut talk about. To me space never had a smell because we can’t breathe it so who the hell would sit around and think about such a thing as smell or taste? But science does always smell and space does indeed smell like gunpowder. When the astronauts would come in from the space walk they would have the scent of the atmosphere on them, and that is how you smell space. To me this little bit of information adds a whole new element to how I view space. I understand it more as a process and as explosion just like a gun and just like the elements we share. The simple added information of smell opened up space to a new layer of my mind.

Why this is important and what the hell am I ranting about with pain on my sides and grass on my brain anyway? A conspiracy theory of irrational reasoning perhaps would be the best way to describe it another way would be cultural genocide, un-sewing the fabrics of society, Lady Liberty falling on her own sword in final poetic notion of artistic depravity. The end of art is near my fellow travelers and it’s not government, radicals, PBS, or Jay Leno that you need to blame but rather you and I.

WTF? R U nuts? WTFDYJS???? W8 TMI.

Long standing code and symbolism being thrown to the side for an easier language is the sign of progress throughout history of our world. Most all of which was brought on and encouraged through art and literature for it is what binds society. From fashion to music to the written story we come together under not just government and religion but also the arts. The ability to write started with mad cave men phased by the best drugs the good berry pusher had to offer ranting madly in a cave carving the walls to make a point to his wife. Gangs of graffiti artists tagged up Egypt with hieroglyphics of their kings and queens and crypts and bloods. The Mesopotamians figured out cuneiform writing using symbols to make up words and a sort of pronunciation system that was easier then consistent drawings. Finally an alphabet was established using pronunciation to create words with meaning through the sounds we make. Laws and order were given in order for it to be uniform so all can understand it from the rich to the poor. Now that’s a shitty over view of the whole story that takes us to our Alphabet ignoring a lot of history in the process but this isn’t a history lesson and I could be experiencing the worst pain in the world any moment so time is of the essence.

So changes in how language is laid out has been consistent in its progress of society and it seems it forever will transform as better and more simplistic ways of communicating are found. You can argue that this internet short hand is a move toward the future. You could also be an idiot. I’m not the judging kind. Why it can’t be considered as progress is because Ebonics and internet short hand move to destroy progress and rules in order to be less expressive and detailed. In no way is it logical and it’s in many ways putting a lot of faith and power into what the internet is and what we and it will become. Lets understand the partnership before we give in completely to it.

Every aspect of our technology has lead to sacrificing quality for quantity. We use fewer words to avoid charges or save time or to fit in. We read less because we are presented with so much more information it overwhelms us and long and detailed is often thrown aside for a summery or a cliff note. We prefer short web features to longer better written better produced material. We champion the single and seek out the independent ignoring the albums and burning through music at amazing rates. Our news is so cluttered with everybody’s opinion from the meaningless such as mine to actual informed opinion that truth which was always been hard to find is finding a much easier time hiding in the clutter.

It’s like willingly killing your own free speech using fewer words and ignoring more detail to maintain you’re high-speed lifestyle. Thought can’t be constricted, debate shouldn’t be lessened, and detail cannot be sacrificed. WHAT THE FUCK (WTF) are we thinking selling out structure and science in favor of fifteen minutes of fame? Now when it comes to English I’m no expert. I’m a failure but I’m embarrassed by it, not proud of it. You should never EVER say something is too long to read IF it’s interesting.

The system has become overwhelmed and all we can do is accept it. Let us watch the death of creativity as in the process of mass appeal the threads of similarity will become more and more present as culture thins out. How can you teach a child the value in the book, “Boss” by Mike Royko, versus simply spending fifteen minutes on Wikipedia to read about Mayor Richard J. Daley. How can the boring stories of the past impress a kid in the world where every aspect of media is at their finger tips? How can we find compromise on issues if everybody has lame men political writers who write only what the reader wants to hear as absolute fact? It’s not good the direction we are going and I wonder how long before news stories such as the smell of space dissolve from our radar and all we are left with is Perz Hilton drawing jizz markings on the latest popularity craze.

With so many people writing with no depth the true spirits of the words are being lost in the plastic of the keys on the keyboard. The young cultural revolutionaries cannot fail in their job as cultural book binders because if they do so more and more structure in our society will fall to the government or the cooperation’s as we all enslave ourselves to mediocrity. No generation of American artist has failed yet, but the writing is on the texts.


Friday, September 4, 2009

What happens at the Hilton stays at the Hilton.

"This hotel room's gotta lotta stuff
Laundry bag and a shoe shine BUFF
Thirty two hangers and a touch tone phone
Well a light that comes on when I ain't home

I ain't home
I ain't home
You better leave a message 'cause
I ain't home "
--"Hotel Room" by Steve Goodman, (1975)

It’s been a long time since I’ve written anything of substance and I need a getaway for a man living in slack it may sound weird or strange to need a get-a-way but if you spent any time in my head you would understand. Forget walking in my shoes try wearing my cap. The story sometimes finds you, but most the time you have to find it. You can live in a bubble and that’s fine but when doing so you also have to understand the world goes on without you; and your opinions and suspension of the world lack experience and become less relevant. Except it or cowboy up tends to be the only two options so I booked a stay at the Hilton in a rich suburb just outside of Chicago for some adventure and time to write a story with a self imposed deadline.

Putting a deadline on things is important because the mind has a natural curiosity to wonder. The mind knows that what we are doing is not important or interesting in the grand scheme of thing so it does everything it can to distract us to find something more relevant in its big picture understand of the world. Keep it busy and occupied with rules and order and the mind stays happy and works with you instead of against you. So that is why I needed a deadline and why I imposed one on a story that is for nobody but myself. After all these are selfish times and I’m a product of my environment.

Being a night walker has caused me to live my life in spurts. Most Americans live their lives in moderation. Moderation is very safe, you get a consistent flow of money, and you are frugal and responsible -saving for the leaner times while enjoy the good. Right or wrong the quality of life is always the same. Safe and simple, yet stagnate and predictable. Usually it’s not that exciting, but yet very comfortable and a pretty damn good life. These moderates work hard and earn the ability for a yearly vacation into debauchery; not to crazy rather very nice, and fairly safe. Like Cancun, San Diego, or if you’re living dangerous, you hit up Vegas.

A hotel is the perfect place for a spurt surfer as you get to see how the other half lives and rub shoulders (or other things) with them while remaining the poor fellow traveler you really are. Thanks to supply and demand even the most expensive hotels have cheap rooms during slow seasons. Everybody on the move has a story and every story has a character and every character has a passion and every passion is always on display in hotels. Well passion and loose morals.

Because of two amazingly written songs by the legendary poet song spinner and fellow Chicagoan Steve Goodman; I think of him and his life and the way he faced death every time I stay in a hotel or ride a train. When you get older you start thinking about your legacy and how you will be remembered. Steve in my mind will always remind me of a hotel room and a train which are a good set of things to be remembered for. Especially if you’re famous enough to be remembered for anything at all as most people aren’t and a crowded funeral a few stories is all they get.

If I’m lucky, I’ll probably be remembered for razor sharp wit, and always coming just short of success. Fuck man, Steve Goodman always got the good ones. I wish I could be remembered for trains or Hotels. Well all the good ones except the Leukemia that took him way to soon as he rode the great "City of New Orleans" to the golden depot in the sky. Good morning America how are ya? Not too good Steve in a world without you.

I know I’m ranting again, I’m sorry, I forgot to tell you what my goal was to discover in this little stay at the Hilton, or at least what I thought it was thirty-two or so hours ago when this journey of discovery, adventure, and simple relaxation began. What I wanted to find out was simple; how disturbed is a hotel and what is it hiding—mainly from a deviant sexual aspect.

I know that filth of the worst kind happens in hotel rooms. If you’re going to pee on somebody it’s going to be in a hotel room. If you’re going to get a hooker to live out your sick, twisted, inhumane, unspeakable sexual fantasies; you’re probably not going to do it in the same house you kiss your kids. So a hotel room it is.

After all you got perfect cover as that conference removes you from your family on an ‘official’ business trip. It’s the kind of business trip that is needed to maintain the comfort of the life style your family is accustom to. You need to take these trips to maintain the moderation of the middle mundane class you shoulder. Now you’re all alone with your secretary and the built up sexual tension that has been constructing for the last year and now is finally ready to swing open its doors for a GRAND OPENING. It is begging to come undone like the belt of a fat man on Thanksgiving and there is not much you can do too deny it. Something has to give and it does--Wooooooo meow!

You get my drift a hotel is a disgusting decadent place disguised as a place for families to stay. You can bring a wife, a child, a mother, a father, a mistress, a whore, a date, or a hostage and it’s perfectly appropriate and nobody will question who you are, or who you are with. Hell a judgmental prick like me would look down upon you if you didn’t bring one of these types relationships into a hotel. Twisted and corporately perverted like Disney Land only without the media buy and direct marketing to the kids is exactly what a hotel is.

That’s what I thought I was going to find but like life, it never seems to go as you plan it. After I left my suitcase full of my dental floss, sweat pants (warm and comfortable), bathing suit back in the hotel room closet I headed out armed with only my tape recorder, complimentary hotel pen, and complimentary hotel tablet to seek out this dissoluteness. Sometime between the slamming of the door and the ringing of the elevator action I came to the realization I had no drugs on me and I was feeling the want and need of the craving.

I knew somebody who possibly could hook me up but I needed to act on what I intended to seek out. This is why I set goals I’m a very sporadic, sloppy, and an unadjusted man; but you already knew that from my structure-less writing. I hate rules. Fuck’em. Law should never restrict a man’s words no matter if the law is self imposed, civilly imposed, or in our case culturally imposed. If what is put out there grabs you then one should never worry about how clean the hand is that is doing the grabbing. Just be happy somebody is touching you and if I was right in my theory I should hear plenty of tales of touching throughout my stay in this sin sanctuary.

With my shit in my room and adventure on my addictive brain now was the perfect time to scout the hotel out. I needed to see what I could discover and figure out in the various hallways and ongoing activities of this Hilton masterpiece. Where could I find drugs, and where is all this filth happening? Like a young Buddhist monk who was violently hazed by his brethren, I had questions that needed answers but yet I had to ask them in a way that didn’t make it seem like I was asking them at all. Did this filth involve call girls working in the lobby of the hotel mocking authority right in its perfectly uniformed face? Was it done through phone orders and internet ads in the seedy underbelly of electronic freedom? Did they have those awesome little finger sandwiches in the lobby as they do at the Hilton back home? I had to know, I had to get to work, I had to stop asking so many damn questions loudly into my tape recorder as the staff was getting nervous.

Before I can find a story I needed to know every room number, every conference happening, and every empty room and closet in the place. Hours of researching just roaming the hallways is always the best tactic. I needed to know what the staff looked like, where they break, what they eat, and so on and so forth. I had no choice but to cover every avenue and angle as this is the difference between seeing your environment and understanding it.

I started by scouting the lobby which was very large and open serving its purpose of being welcoming. Four couches and four chairs filled the center of the room with a pastel blue coloring mixed with a floral design giving it a corporate home type feel. Lots of floral designs in hotels I wonder if they get a deal on buying in bulk but that is not the question at hand. The two couches and the two chairs faced each other with a table in the center so travelers waiting for their chariots can chat. This was done back to back splitting the furniture arrangements into two small chatting and waiting areas so now no two parties are forced to deal with the humanity of each other or others.

To the North near the front door a gift shop stood out and it seemed to have an ample supply of carbonated beverages, chips, localized souvenirs (so you can make it seem like you left your room when you return to your family), and naturally given the surroundings condoms. Across from the gift shop sits the main meeting place for lovable losers, hopeless lovers, business tycoons, horny travelers, and faux writers. The hotel bar.

Next to the bar was a classy barber’s shop that reminded me of a place where old men would get their hair cut and would really enjoy it; both for reasonable pricing and the witty conversation that came along with an old barber who has nothing but time and hates his wife. One of the tricks of any good barber shop is to load the window with pictures of autographed celebrities giving the illusion that the celebrity gets their hair cut from the nice old man sweeping up around the chair. Most of these guys buy the autographs off the internet or trade shows. One autograph always seems reasonable and you can picture that guy actually getting a hair cut at this shop mainly because it’s not a major star like Tom Hanks or Brad Pitt. In this window it was a picture of the big guy who played the Russian in the ‘Rocky’ movie. The more I thought about it the more I started to buy into the fact he probably did get a hotel hair cut from this guy and my first thought was, "I never really thought about his hair before". My next thought was, "Well you know I’ve never seen him with a BAD haircut.” That’s all I needed and a few moments later I was getting a trim infused with witty conversation from the barber about the distain he has for his wife.

The barber was a nice man with a very thick Russian accent. It’s that thick kind of accent where you just laugh lightly at whatever he says, and agree with him every time it seems as if he’s proposing a question. For all I know I had just converted to communism, or perhaps bought into some kind of Ponzy scheme which would mean I was at least involved in something of importance which is hard to come by these days.

I’ve been looking for inclusion in anything lately which is the first sign of boredom. After being laid off my job, my word went from stress to relaxation, to a feeling of failure with absolutely no ability to help the world in any way. So interaction and adventure keep me sane and both are drying up like a trucker’s elbow, American values, oil reserves, dogma, and the feeling of hope.
I hope I can find one more dance of structure before I give up and fade away. But I, like any kid playing a carnival game want to win the big prize in front of God, family, and most of all my friends and fraternity and perhaps it’s that big dreaming that will lead to my massive failure. The risks we take are just as important as the ground we stand firmly upon and lately even that has been shaky.

Vegas just called and I’m not even a long shot to find fame or fortune. I’m a no shot. Perhaps faith is dead and hope is all we have left, and I really am just a lovable loser. It’s a scary thought, but it could very well be the truth, and if that’s the case no crime/no foul I burn out early just as everybody is predicted. But for a moment I have to wonder what if. Now I wouldn’t dare try to paint a word woven picture of "IF" I’ll leave that to talented writers like Rudyard Kipling, but really what ‘if’. The truth is I’m not sure I even have the faith in myself to actually find success but I’ll give it that old college dropout try one more time.

Enough about me, I kept searching and I found the hotel had a basement where most of the action was happening in its conference space. To my dismay the main renter of the hotel was a college aged Christian ministry called Interfaith who were on some kind of yearly Holy Roller meet up. The good news was the hotel was packed with virtuous young virgins whose crosses bounced so innocently between their perfect young breasts; I’m sure Christ would indeed rise again. I was really considering a conversion at this point. Heaven. Hell. Either way was fine with me as long as those girls were involved and at least it was a direction. The bad news was they really, really, really dug Jesus and probably weren’t packing up any drugs or whips and chains which didn’t help my theory. I needed to get to the bottom of, or on top of that later, but first I needed a whole perspective of everybody whom was staying at the hotel.

I further investigated the cork bottle board which listed all the conventions and what rooms they should meet in. One group just had initials and that didn’t really stand out as anything important so I ignored them. Ignorance is the first mistake of all great (and not so great) journalists, cultures, and businesses. The other conference was written in Russian, and also didn’t interest me and at this time of writing I’m not sure why. I discovered later it was a kind of pyramid scheme where people sell them their gold for well under its market value (people hard up for cash) and not surprisingly their target were Americans. Lady Liberty was raped a long time ago, and not to defend those who attacked her, but I think she was kind of asking for it. Have you ever seen that toga type dress she wears? I don’t know, and I knew I didn’t have time to question patriotism so I moved on. I searched down the list and the other group on the conference center listing was "The Foot Lovers Seminar". Bing! Kink, grime, and the kind of filth I could really dip my big toe in to. Finally I had something to attend.

I stopped in the bar for a taste of whiskey before heading into the conference room with "Foot Lovers" on the door. As I walked in the room I did so with a certainty and with an egotistic aura that I belonged. I had my note pad in hand, tape recorder out, and I was all ready to learn about the foot fetish and all it entails. I have in my time sucked a toe or two and who knows what I have to offer these people.

I figured my perspective would really be the key to getting these footlovers and their stories out to the masses of unknowing readers who didn’t hate feet, but certainly didn’t love them. If I had my way Footlovers would no longer be relished to hotel seminars, at least not on my watch. After my story hit the unsuspecting readers these footlovers would get the same love and respect as politicians, scientists, and journalists. Come to think of it they already get treated that way. Never mind. At the very least I could help get their fetish’s foot into the door of mainstream America. Sorry I couldn’t resist.

After an hour and a half of near death boredom I realized that the ‘foot lovers’ name was very misleading. I stood up demanding a refund and was quickly thrown out by two very large chiropractors who reeked of rum and money. You see the conference was a product unveiling to Chiropractors from them to sell foot inserts into shoes that would help straighten the back. Hell they even had a pitch that this simple insert could add points to your golf score (or take away, whichever one is better). Fucking rich people are worried about a golf score while I’m still trying to find a boot that doesn’t hurt while I walk. Spurt surfers rejoice.

On the other end of the hotel near the back parking lot was a single stair well that lead to area that according to the sign was used for corporate training. It like me was a little out of place and weird so I followed the twisting stair well down to the depths of the unknown brainwash centers below. The blue and green carpet and cold red brick wall was hypnotizing me on the way down. If I was on acid I would have died in the oddity of the decoration but thankfully, although against my own will, I was as sober as a Jesus loving college student staying at a Hilton in Illinois.

The basement was perfect as it had a desk, a plug, a comfortable chair, and a tight setting, plus a private bathroom. There was only one conference room and it was empty. This would be the base of my operation where I could take people, interview them, or just escape and write. A pot of ice tea and my laptop was all I really needed to complete the office/war room. All of which could be set up later when I was ready to inscribe this tale.

I returned upstairs to the sitting arena in the lobby where I kick backed for an hour or so and observed. The Christians are an interesting cult. They talk openly about their leader and tell wild stories that even my twisted and disturbed mind could never imagine. Killing brothers, talking snakes (must be referring to the Daly Administration), punishing a man to prove his faith, and on and on. God damn, did I really need to burn a bush, and I’ll take either the sexual or drug innuendo that statement conjures up in your own perverted mind. I’m not a judgmental soul just an imaginary reporter there is a difference as thin as it may seem.

Most of the groups of Jesus Lovers are young: that is the one thing they all have in common, besides Jesus of course. A few older people I noted have been walking around; most conspicuously of these creatures is a man in his mid-thirties who seems to be in charge. A few of the older church ladies kept walking by, but with all the young tail it’s hard to concentrate on them for more than a moment. This is perfectly enough time for the mind to determine that these old bags are disgusting in appearance, and to quickly write them off in our beauty obsessed world. Sucks to be them. Most of these old hags have that ugly old church lady look of conservative hair, too much make up, and almost a masculine appearance. I tuned them out and simply kicked back and watched as people came and went.

An Asian kid with an eye patch that made him almost look robot kept hanging around with a gay black kid both trying their damndest to fit in. I guess it really is a new church although some things never change as the two of them seemed like outcasts. Waves of excitement came and went and were usually caused by the most simplistic of stunts within the faction that are then matched by others in the same tribe in communal displays of cult like behavior. For example a young girl put her hair up so that it looked like it was in a Mohawk. All the other kids flocked to her; they all laughed, took pictures, and within the hour another gaggle of girls had their hair up in the Mohawk fashion being greeted by a similar reception. This process came and repeated most of the night till just about every girl had their hair in a mo-hawk styling. Things were getting heady in my sober state of confusion.

Education is key to the strength of the entire organization. None of these kids are stupid as all of them appear to come from different colleges. Penn State, University of Illinois, Notre Dame, Princeton, William and Mary, are all well represented by warm sweatshirts. Education is encouraged, and is often the crux of most conversations between the Jesus lovers and the older staff.

It’s not a bad strategy as the church has failed in recruiting the mass number of kids it used to. Sex scandals, inability to modernize, and a changing attitudes among adults has resulted in a major blow to a once dominate institution. If you can’t win through sheer public appeal to the masses then restructure and focus, on what, and who matters most to your organizations survival. Why not start with the leaders of tomorrow, as those with dollars are the ones with the loudest voices as money talks and the rest of us are forced to listen. Influence out ranks mass numbers in our system, and drafting influence is the church’s strategy and it’s well placed.

It’s a smart tactic, and whomever the leader is of this interfaith cult knows exactly what he is doing. At one point in the night the guy I assumed to be in charge sat down near me and I listened to him talk about his own kid to some old lady for about forty minutes. I wished and prayed very hard that one day both him and his daughter would visit a crazy lady with a drug addicted monkey whom was going through withdrawals angered by their presence the monkey would lash out in withdrawal rage and tear their faces off. Not sure how soon God gets back to you on those kinds of requests, but to my knowledge it has yet to happen. This guy went on to tell this lady how cute his daughter was and how he’s going to have a problem with the boys because she is so cute and…sexy. Mind you the kid is no more than five years old now. The leader monster went on to debate himself in an arrogant and self serving debate trying to figure out if he should send his kid to a public school, or home school her. Not because of religious reasons, he was very clear to point out, but because she is sooooo smart she might be bored by the slow kids and teachers of the public school system. Please God send the monkey’s as soon as you can.

The marketing is brilliant as capitalism and Catholicism have always been bed room buddies. One shirt had the "GAP" logo on it, under the logo it read, "God Answers Prayers". Pardon me once again. God this is AL can I please live out the American Dream. Thank you. Anyway tons and tons of logos were bastardized by the Jesus marketing team probably by old Jews left on staff from the Old Testament days. Why the hell not, we all got to eat and Jesus hasn’t been very busy lately at the fish market. As a matter of fact if I ever do marry I have to be sure to invite him, I hear he’s great at weddings.

I walked around again still exploring, still seeking, still wanting to find the kink and filth I KNEW was in this hotel ,and no Jesus loving freaks could change that. Most of the rooms had small gold name plates that explained what was happening in them agenda wise. Room titles such as "transformation", "inspiration", "faith and FILL IN THE BLANK", occupied the labeling slots. One small room was dark and packed with media in a sect like brain-washing fashion. It was unoccupied so I sauntered in looking to learn. Well, that or steal some of the unguarded laptops. These kids got to learn somehow that God’s faith doesn’t include health insurance or theft.

The room was truly creepy, yet interesting. Bulletin boards filled the walls asking two very contrasting questions hoping to make a connection to both by use of stars as votes. Let me explain it a bit better than that. Basically it was plain white poster board that had been split by two questions. On the table were star stickers (the kind a teacher would put on a good paper) and you would place a sticker anytime you experienced or agreed with the question. If the two questions had equal stars then they must be assumed to have a connection. If one is, then there for the other is: that type of brain wash thinking. A very dangerous and misleading way to bridge issues as it implies free choice. However people looking at it objectively can understand two options is not free choice. How about those elections?

Have you ever known somebody who was beaten? Have you ever known somebody with a drinking problem? I HAVE I HAVE!!! Have you known somebody who had an abortion? Have you known somebody who killed themselves? Yes. Have you known somebody who did drugs? Have you known somebody who got into fights? Ummm are they spying on me!! Have you known somebody who stopped praying? Have you known somebody who had cancer?

I found the last one to be kind of funny and it made me laugh loudly. Cancer? Jesus Christ he really is a vengeful god isn’t he? It is very clever and very well crafted, as kids would come into this room in packs and no doubt give in to peer pressure not wanting to stand up and say, "most of these questions are problems, yes; but they are not all related". God forbid somebody had a voice other then what they want you to say or think.

The only thing that really offended me was a board where the kids would write on sticky note pads what they thought was the reason for everyday problems. No, Christians were not an option. The question was about the poor and most of these ignorant drones attributed poor to lazy. What happened to not judging? Anyway the truth is the poor are often a product of lack of opportunity. Most poor are born into poverty, it’s not something they asked for or volunteer to accept. It’s like getting the stink off your hand after a misjudgment while wiping. It just doesn’t go away no matter how hard you scrub. It’s a stain and a smell that stays with you. I wrote a nasty note and posted it and moved on.

I was getting nowhere fast so I decided to take a nap which turned into a few hours of sleep. When I got up I headed to the hot tube for a soak. I was hoping for the pool area to be packed with cute girls in bathing suits forgetting Christ for just a moment or two. But like everything else in my life it against didn’t go as planned. This is a common theme in these tough times of economic despair and deep depression where dreams are fading and shackles are gaining while I just slowly just lose my mind and nobody cares. It seemed the church bells were ringing and all the young ladies were in some gospel ho-down in the big conference room near the front of the hotel.

I petrified myself by reading the warnings on the wall outside of the hot tub and fairly quickly removed myself from that death machine. Yes, I enjoyed drugs, booze, sex, and worry about heart issues all apparently bad things to enjoy if you want to use a hot tub. I started to think I was having a heart attack in my hypochondriatic state known as sobriety. I demanded an ambulance and very hard sedatives but no life guard was on duty, everybody else was at church, and my throat was a bit hoarse so like my prayers my pleas for help went unanswered. I returned to my room and took a hot then cold shower before grabbing my laptop to type up this story you are reading now as my self imposed deadline was approaching fast. At least that’s what I thought I would do when I started heading down to my writing area.

The hotel was empty it was like a ghost town or high noon in a Gary Cooper movie. Only a few staff members roamed around wishing their day would end so they could go home, hoping and praying I wasn’t going to cause too much trouble before that point. But trouble is what I was seeking, just not at that moment and certainly not with their cautious eyes upon me. With all the kids in church service my investigation was thrown for a curve.

I got the urge to turd after a hotel restaurant cheeseburger finished its digestive process. Now was the time to capitalize on my clandestine basement area with the private bathroom and good typing atmosphere. At the very least I figured I could start the story and fill in the rest as I found it, surly it was only a matter of time before the kink and perversion would come out of the shadows as it was almost ten o’clock . What I found in the basement was neither private nor clandestine as a group of church ladies were occupying its once empty sole conference room.

Something was odd about the whole damn scenario and that didn’t sit very well with me. Why were they not in church with the rest of the loons? Why were they in this cut off area away from the other conference rooms? Why was enchanting horn heavy music and loud cackling coming from their room?

I went back up stairs and looked again at the board that listed all the conferences and discovered it was not church folk but rather that weird group I wrote off earlier because of their weird initialed name. I needed to discover what it all meant and In the process learn my lesson not to judge a book by its cover. I went back down stairs to investigate further. My plan was simple I still had to dump that cheeseburger off in the private bathroom which was right next to the room these ladies were cackling. So all I needed to do was get close enough to peak in, or wonder in, and investigate further.

I opened the men’s room bathroom door to a women standing at the mirror with a dudes hair cut and a females wig in her hand. These were not church ladies they were transvestites!! How could I have been so blinded by them? They were not the kind of tranny you see on day time TV, or that one that looks like Brittany Spears. These were old, wrinkly, transvestites dressing like Dustin Hoffmann in Tootsie or like any waitress you’ve ever ordered eggs from half drunk at a small dinner at three o’clock in the morning. Fuck I need to get back on drugs I’m falling apart.

Finally I found what I was looking for right in front of me was weird sexual deviants. In shock I shot the door and back away I sat down in a hallway chair just an ear shot from all the action and weird music. I listened, and listened hard, but the lady-dudes spoke quietly and I had no idea what they were saying. I will never forget the laughter that came from that room. It was husky like a bears roar, but yet manacle, confused, and demented. For the first time in a long time I was actually scared. I don’t know why I was frightened it wasn’t a fear of pain, emotion, or threat. I think it came from the general weirdness and inability to understand what the fuck was going on, and when the mind is confused its default emotion is fear.

At that point with the deadline for this piece fast approaching I had to act fast. Truth is I’ve been putting off writing and investigating thanks impart to a deep depression. For the past few days it’s been a task to get out of bed. The kind of dark, dwelling, depression that makes watching TV a task. I hate it, but I can’t run from it, I can’t avoid it, I can’t escape it, I can only do my damndest to sleep through it which is the only thing that beats the alternative of giving in to it.

My story will be loved or it will fail but it still weighs heavy on my mind. You win some you lose some. Life goes on. So on and so forth. That’s my attitude, but I have to admit this spell has been particularly rough, dangerously dehabilitating, and harder than most. I guess it could be worse, and it will get better. It always doe’s, doesn’t it?

If I was going to make this interesting I had to mix the Jesus kids with the old trannies. I’m not sure what I thought would happen but I was sure it would be something interesting. Would the trannies and the Christ warriors engage in a battle of moral decency and acceptance? Would there be bloodshed? Would this usher in revelations? Did Jesus Christ die for nothing? We all would soon find out, or at least that was the plan.

I went upstairs and again studied the cork agenda board. The trannies and the Jesus freaks were both having a party at 11pm. The plan was simple, as the best plans always are. I just needed to schedule both groups to meet in a ball room in the basement for their party at 11pm. A truly wild accidental experiment conducted by me for your pleasure.

I re-printed the fraudulent agenda from the hotel business center computer and pasted it where all could see. It was time to catch a few winks of depression and return to my experiment right around 11pm. I slept and dreamt a delightful dream where I became a famous actor and the world loved me. President Obama was so impressed he named me the countries new Drug Tsar and I single handily ended the drug war against our own people, saved Mexico from civil war, and in turn our economy with legalization. It was high times for all in the land of plenty.

Fuck. Me. Hard. The clock said it was two in the morning meaning I missed my experiment. Everything I built up to is lost, I’ve failed. I have failed yet again. My story is ruined and you probably are going to cancel your subscription to my meaningless blog. I went down to the ball room, but it was empty with no signs of war, struggle, love, decadence, filth, or even any signs of life. It was clean, pristine, and empty which also described my soul.

I went back to my room and I slept some more, just to get up to sleep some more. I was wide awake but I couldn’t get out of bed it was like I was tied down but I wasn’t. I was free as a man in a country of repression entrapped not by a political oppressor but rather my own dark mind. I finally got up because I had to finish this story and the trannies are now long gone, the Jesus Freaks have checked out, and I’ve failed you as the phony journalist that I am. The editor in my head is screaming that I have about an hour before this story is due. A DEAD line. I guess I could sit here and apologize to you, but that has never been my style.

Truth is the one thing I’ve learned is you are who you are and you can’t change that. Money can help, love is amazing, and ice-cream is comforting but at the end of the day the man or woman in the mirror is all you will ever be. Most don’t like what they see and I certainly am most. I wish I was younger, I wish I was smarter, I wish I could write better, I wish I could lose weight, I wish I could win more life battles, I wish I had a better and more influential role in the world but I don’t. I most likely never will. I’ve blown chances and I don’t regret the choices I’ve made; which in the Sudoku puzzle that is life it makes it very had to put the numbers in the right places. Happiness will never be something I can obtain and I accept that.

I came to this hotel looking for filth, for evil, for the sick underbelly of the worst kind. To be truthful I didn’t have to look upon or judge others, I just needed to find a damn mirror. That really is the answer to most of life’s problems it’s just such a horrible solution. What I found in this hotel was something much deeper, something realer, and something more innocent and righteous. What I found was faith. Nothing more and nothing less which is really a good thing when you think about it.

The Jesus folk have a very real, a very strong, and very interesting blind faith. I don’t know if I agree with it but I certainly understand and appreciate it. They give their life, their time, and part of their earnings to a cause greater than their own self interest. They have created a community with in a society where together they can move forth their goals, dreams, dogma, and ideology. They are dreamers sharing the same course to the same place in the sky. It really is magical.

The lovable Footlovers. I was bored to dust by them but they were passionate about their business. It was their identity, it was their lives, and it is who they are. They define it in their names going by ‘Doctor’ a proud and noble title. We all for the most part become what we are in our similar search for survival. I am a satirist and I share that bond with my worst enemy and my best friends in the business. Like us these foot lovers have created a community they have bonded as friends, and they have seen the highs and lows together. They have a definite faith in their profession and have chosen to dedicate most of their lives to a job that provides for them and their families.

Even the Russians with their gold pyramid schemes share a common bond. These men and women are just seeking a better life even if it is at the cost of others. Let’s be honest what in our world isn’t at the cost of others? Some break the laws, the powerful go around the laws, the really rich re-write the laws, and all of us speed. Putting faith in the vulnerability and vanity of fellowman and human nature seems seedy and wrong, but not to them. It’s bad, a shitty way of a life but a way of life none the less. They are just as much victims as those they seek to victimize. It’s hard to understand the faith of others if you’ve never walked in their shoes or in the case of the trannies their heels.

Here are a group of people that have so much faith in their sexuality they are willing to become pariahs of society. A group of people who are so sure of their own strange feelings they are willing to make the world a very hard place for themselves to live. I personally don’t get them but my god man their faith is a testament to us all. The hotel is their one place for them to come and be themselves which oddly to the rest of the world is them not being themselves. Odd times, but I guess that’s the way the world goes around, huh?

I don’t know if any young catholic boys ended up with the shock of their lives and a sore asshole. I’m not sure if any confused girls took another girl to their room to explore sexuality just to find a surprise that really makes them confused. I don’t know if anybody was pissed on, if toes were sucked, or if nothing happened at all. I just don’t know. The only thing I can be sure of is that faith was exercised over and over throughout this hotel.

Did I just find the faith I lost in myself years ago here in this hotel? I don’t know yet, but I can tell you before this story started I had little hope and little faith in my skill or chances to reach my dreams. Hell I thought faith in man was dead. Now here I am days later and I think I might have found the faith I had no idea I even lost. That’s the funny thing with faith it’s like a hot bath, you know it’s hot when you first get in but at the end hours later when it’s cold you hardly notice because it consumes you and the gradual decrease never allows you to feel the temperature’s true state. I had lost all faith in myself and didn’t even fucking know it and coming from a gypsy like me that is very sad. But now I will say I have found faith and conviction in a hotel and for the first time in weeks, maybe months, perhaps even years that makes me happy.

Wish me luck, and go check into a hotel and live a little on the edge because you too might find the faith you didn’t even know you lost. I’ll see you on the flip side.