LA Doesn’t Like Free Love

Posted: March 14, 2012 by Ryan Nelsen in Pragmatic Profligacy

Hedonistic adventures is how I spent everyday this summer.  Booze in the morning? Sure, but lets not fuck around with beer; lets go straight for  malt liquor. Oh, you have money? Buy some tequila so we’ll have an idea of what our day will be like by noon.

Who I am I kidding? I was never up before noon.

I was a homeless telemarketer for awhile. Living in my car, going home to Ma and Pa’s once a week to stock up on crackers, clean laundry, and a shower. When the summer came, an ex girlfriend said she needed another roommate for a new house. We were never more than fans of each others bodies, so it was no big deal to have rooms on opposite sides in a big Victorian house.

The house was big enough for the renters and several friends, the several friends used the living room as their bedroom, each with their own couch. I immediately quit my job, sold my car for 200 dollars, and bought an old pick up truck. The landlord was a noisy one and visited almost three times a week. We’re careful to pickup the beer cans in the yard, but he always asked if we were smoking in the house. After twenty days we had a 30 day notice to leave the property. Everyone split but me. I had a month to myself with my guitars, my record collection, and a kitchen full of rice and condiments. And the only guy in town with an apartment to himself.

After the bags of rice were depleted, and every piece of furniture discarded in back alleys by means of my truck,  I started staying the night on floors and couches of what seemed to be never ending party’s.  If I had money it was always for cigarettes and beer. When it came to eating me and several other heathens sifted through garbage cans.  The prize find was still-frozen meat, or a boxes of nutrigrain bars, and of course, the dumpster divers main diet, pizza.

The diet didn’t bother us. I don’t remember anyone complaining. We we’re juvenile delinquents.  I’ve got jailhouse tattoos on my shoulders and thumbs and would happily give tattoos to anybody as long as they bought beer.

I didn’t change my pants; my tight black jeans we’re shiny with wear and god knows what else.  I would always steal packages of white T-shirts and over top of that, was the jewel of my deliciousness, a  denim vest. Flamboyantly dirty with ragged patches of Judas Priest, and my favorite local band, Cocksnot.

For some reason, in the conservative college town that is Grand Rapids, Michigan, I rode the pussy train during these months. I couldn’t stop, and neither could they. I barely ever slept on the floor, barely ever slept alone, and barley ever slept with the same person for a more than a couple of days.

But when too many juices were swapped, the boiling point was reached, and I just fucking snapped. I hitch hiked out one morning, headed for New York City to find a tattoo apprenticeship, but that was really just a lie I told to anyone who would pick me up. Really, I was just running away from something, or running towards something – I couldn’t tell.

I ended up in Buffalo,  pretty much with same scenario; working until I could pay a couple months of rent and then quitting, all the while getting drunk, meeting a girl, and then meeting her friends, while the first girl was still thinking we were together.

I used to make random girls blush, by singing the Jack White lyric, “Yeah, your pretty good looking… for a girl.” I have enough stories from that time to fill a whole side of penthouse, lonely military girls, virgins, my favorite was the catholic virgin, Asians, Costa Ricans, seventeen year olds.

LA sucks because you have to wear nice shoes.

You look a pretty woman in the eye here in California, and she scoffs at you, rolls her eyes as if to say, “I fuck governors, generals in war, and the dude who owns Johnson & Johnson. What are you looking at scum?”

Maybe it was just that summer in the sun. Maybe my hairline receded a little bit more than I realized, Maybe the booze made some of them prettier, and my friends agree.

Maybe I need that denim vest back.

Maybe I just need to leave LA, and find a town where anarchists congregate, and where people have actual conversations, in depth ones, while never glancing at cell phones during pauses.

A place where cheap beer is cheap. Where Rock N’ Roll means a whole lot more than Guns and Roses. Where a haircut is done by a trusted friend, Where clothing can be a rebellion and not fashion, where you can say whatever the fuck you want and not have someone think your trashy.

Because as we used to say, “God don’t make no trash.”


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