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we have a date with the underground, chapter 11
by Turtle Jones
[This is the 11th in a series of true stories about an anonymous punk rock guy. This is the turtle's gig, he writes these up.]
We get a little serious now. This is when we really have to look at something behind the shows and look past the road. Something past the sweat and something more then the drugs. A driving factor that bites you in the ass when you are just starting out and don't know where to sleep. Something that everyone has had to deal with. Something that makes you stop and think you can't go much farther, but you have to get more so you can keep going. Something....
Not gas for the van.
That's the fucker that made this happen. That damn van took everything. "The Sled" took all our money with a broken axel in that last town. And gas ain't cheap. But you guys know that already.
Food. Just food.
You have no idea what it is like to be in a strange town, sticky as hell, smelling like smoke, cranky as fuck, racked up on dope and beer and not even remembering why you are yelling at the drummer. "He sucks." "Oh yeah? Why does he suck?" "Cause he just fucking does." "You wanna be a little more specific?" "Yeah, ok. Cause he use's Old Spice deoderant and I fucking hate fucking Old Spice. god dammit. What the fuck is wrong with his head? Why does he use that shit? This van smells like a fucking whorehouse on fire." "OK. Calm down.....hey guys we need to eat...fucking bad...how long do we have left to the show?"
Six hours. Oh crap. Six hours. Add show time in on that and you have .....ohhhhh twelve hours or so till we get paid and have enough money to eat? If we get paid?
I'm seeing elves out of my eyes and running low on drugs and I can't think of anything but some weird ass pastor from years ago who used to send out posters to his flock. Tiltman? Tillman? Tilman? Tilton? Fuck. I can't remember. All I know is I used to tweak and always get them to send me free ones. Kiss a litle ass and you get a free poster. Free ones that I would plaster on my bedroom. I had so many Tilton posters and holy oil and sacred towels taped on my wall it looked more like a baptist minister's room than some sped out kid with nothing to do but fuck with people at four in the morning.
I was kinda gone. I told you.
Not eating does this to you.
Hey. It's what i did back then. Hey, dude. My room looked cool. But anyways.....
Back to the story.
We were all wacked out and needed something to eat. No one had said anything nice to each other for a few days. You get used to your first name being "Shut up, asshole." Your middle name being "Bite me" and your last name being "Hey dude. I'm passing out. Can you drive?" It just happens some days. So we sat there. Just searching our pockets for change. Something. There had to be something. Search the floor. Search the cabs. Search the cases. Search people's asses if we thought they were holding out. Search everything. Find everything. Every penny. Every dime. Eventually me and the git tech found about a dollar.
Ok. Let's think.
Thats not enough for Dennys. So no bueno there. That's not enough for McDonald's. No bueno. That's not enough for Burger King. Shit. We are hitting the bottom here. Like hitting the bottom of the seafloor.The sand was coming fast. Shoplifting was coming to mind. Hmmm. Fuck, I can't function like this. I stopped thinking two days ago. You make the fucking call. Where do we go?
We stopped. The van was dumped in a tourist town. You know one of those towns that is just off the freeway that is entirely fast food joints and nothing else for miles around? A town you always had to wonder where the people who worked in these places came from? Did they import them daily? Where these guys are from? There are no houses for miles. Where do they live? Am I missing something? Do they all live in that hotel over there? What do they do at night? Do they go to school? Does the shake machine work? Cause I can talk my way into a free shake like no other man.
That's the thoughts that go through your head when you have nothing in your head except drugs, vodka and beer. Nothing really matters anymore but you kinda get to thinking that maybe jesus christ would make you feel a little bit better if you feasted on the nipple of the "Taco Bell" virgin!
Fuck yeah! We forgot Taco Bell! We can get two soft tacos! Fuck yeah! How could we forget about the Taco Bell? What the hell was wrong with us?
Oh yeah...vodka, beer and drugs....I get it....now....
We wandered over to the establishment with a few others in tow. Everyone was splitting up. Some went here and some went there. Most went for 99 cent cheeseburgers or some other crap food. But before we broke up, we all huddled. Not like a gay huddle. We covered that in the earlier post. We just tried to figure out a timeframe. So we didn't have to ditch anyone and pick up a new drummer cause he was too busy sleeping in the tube at McDonald's Playland to get the fuck up back to the van cause "Ronald was so nice. He just wanted me to sleep. And he was so yellow. And he had big feet. Big feet are cool. I've always wanted big feet. Big red feet. "
Not eating again, guys.
I told you.
It does something to you.
So the drummer looks at us. "OK guys, we only have twelve hours to go. We are all dead broke and just get what you can and let's get this over with and get back in the van."
Like fucking some kind of fast food quarterback trying to motivate me to get shitty food as fast as I can. This isn't the Mean Machine. You're not Burt Reynolds and we're not in jail. This is Taco Bell. Not a god damn prison story, drama queen.
I got my soft taco. The only thing I ate for a few days. Covered in six packets of hot sauce to kill the taste. Don't get me wrong. I could eat more, but I was broke. No more cash. No one had any more cash. We put everything in that damn van. We thought it was a deal sitting in a gas station when we bought it. Hey dude. We were wrong. The tank of that van was like a vampire that could live in the day. Fuck. One soft taco. But hey dude. One was better then nothing. Savor that damn thing while sucking it back as fast as you could so you wouldn't have to taste it. It's down. Thank god.
I smoke my last cigarette and flick it.
Out from Carl's Jr. comes the drummer. Strutting like a fucking rooster who just fucked ten hens. Finishing off a huge bag of fries and shoving back the biggest burger I had ever seen and slamming back a huge shake.
I just sat there looking at him like... "What the fuck, dude? We are sitting here sucking hot sauce to get our fucking nine essential vitamins for the day and you are feasting on this? What the fuck happened here, dude?"
"Oh...sorry.... I didn't tell you...I had ten bucks..the food wasnt that good though...sorry I forgot to tell you......"
There was retribution at the entrance of Taco Bell that day.
Yo quiero my fucking ass, motherfucker.
Not eating does things to you.