"I should have stayed on the farm, I should have listened tp my old man......"
white tina turner
Left the house. Sometimes this sounds like John Lennon's 1969 diary. Got up, watched the telly, fucked wife, went to bed. Got up, watched telly, went to bed. Only there's no Yoko here. And that's a good thing. But even a Yoko... And in the distance, I hear the rifles aimed at my head cocking. Sorry, very obscure reference to some shoot-to-kill orders I have given to some friends if I ever wind up or think about getting back together with a particular person.
Anyway. I left the house. I went to a Halloween party Saturday night. The rule for the party was this: you had to dress like your favorite rock star of the 70's. Yikes. But anything is better than sitting around here working on a Saturday night. Favorite 70's rock star...
That would be Elvis Costello? Harry Nilsson? Maybe going out was a bad idea. I'd been minding my own business. I was driving somewhere one night when someone started screaming at me from the next car. Pickup truck. I couldn't see the driver. It was dark out. I didn't know the passenger. Finally, she got through to me. It was Kristen, an ex-girlfriend of an old friend of mine, Jacky English. She said she was going to invite me to her Halloween party. She'd have Jacky call me. Jacky did call, and I took a couple of days to answer her. I didn't want to dress up. But then Jacky hit below the belt. She mentioned that Kristen's sister was inviting a lot of her friends. Straight, twenty-nine and thirty-year-old women.
Hey, let me get a costume!
But ,,, a favorite 70's rock star? Well, I could drag a broom stick with me and go as The Carpenters. But I didn't want to wear a wig. No, if I was going to this thing, I wanted to look good. I wanted to look as close to my real self as I could. I didn't want to look like a freak around 29-year-old women.
So, how did I wind up going as Elton John? Easy. First, no wig. Some fake teeth with a gap. Some crazy glasses and a glittered up hat. Yeah. That'll attract the young chicks. I went to Hollywood Toys and Costumes. It was jammed. A great place, though. Great stuff. Useful stuff, like that yellow police tape. And big fake butts. And hanging way up high... the quintessential Elton John prop. A feather boa. A pink feather boa. I bought some gapped teeth, the boa, some star-shaped glasses. But I needed a hat. There were plenty of hats. But mostly firemen, cop, and Uncle Sam hats. Finally, I found a nice bright red top hat. Extra large to fit my big head. The young women buying the $80 wings in line ahead of me thought my costume idea was cool. "Are you going to wear a jump suit?" I had no idea what i was going to wear. But the chances of me wearing a jump suit were pretty slim.
Back at home, I looked through Charlotte's closet, but there was nothing. I decided to wear a nice pair of black jeans, my black Reeboks, and a black turtleneck. In case I got rid of the Elton John gear, I could pass for Yoko Ono. (She shaved her head in the seventies...)
I picked up a bottle of Vampire wine and off I went.
I drove all the way out to Alhambra. Out the 10 freeway. Past downown, past Monterey Park. Fifteen miles? Up a couple of streets, a left, a right... I got out of the car and put on the Elton John costume. Curious? Here...
Hey. Show me to the 29-year-olds...
Two of the girls of ABBA were there, Karen Carpenter, Frank Zappa, Cat Stevens... And out in the backyard was a girl in a gas mask dousing people with dust -- you guessed it -- The Anthrax Fairy. A while later, in walked... another Elton John -- with Kiki Dee. He looked like he was straight off of the Caribou album. And he was English. He won.
I had a couple of beers out of the keg, but the beer was just making me full. I went inside to open the Vampire wine. They only had one of those two-prong openers, so I jammed it into the bottle. The cork went inside the bottle and Vampire wine shot up into the air. Oops. I managed to clean it up. I took one of the beer cups and filled it with wine. Much better. No one else was going to drink this, anyway. Vampire. Mine.
My friend Jacky showed up. As Tina Turner. Actually, not too bad - for a white girl. We shot the shit for a long while. She reminded me that I had gone to a Halloween party as her one time. After a couple of hours, she left. I finished the wine, talked to some people. Met Dolly Parton, who turned out to be an illustrator. Cute... But I kept having to run out on our conversations. The beer and wine were going right through me.
During one trip to the john, I decided I'd had enough Elton John and was going to finish the party as Yoko Ono. A very loaded Yoko Ono.
yoko, oh no!
Konichi wa, baby. Somone walked into the john as I snapped this shot in the mirror. Yoko Ono with Elton John remnants at her feet. Barely able to stand at the toilet. I didn't recognize his costume, either...
I went back out to the party. Dolly had moved far away. I talked to a groupie for a while, but Cat Stevens came over to claim his woman. I found Kristen (one fourth of ABBA). We talked for a while, and then I decided I was going to leave. I gathered up my feather boa and red top hat and my glasses and my camera. I left the house and walked across the street to my car. It was one of those walks. Every few feet seemed like a major journey. The last few and I kind of threw myself at the car for support. Hmmm. If I drink a bottle of wine at home, sometimes I can't even get it together to get the remote and turn off the tv. I got in the car.
I did a u-turn and headed... somewhere. A reverse right and left... I didn't know this neighborhood. I drove. I got back onto some main streets. I found a road that looked good. After several miles, it dead-ended into a gated community. I turned around and headed back. Drove some more. Suddenly, I really had to piss. I was in some residential neighborhood. No stores or gas stations. Nothing.
This happens to me. I get about twenty seconds notice and then it hits me full on. There was nowhere to stop. There were no containers in the car. Nothing I could pee into. Except... the hat. My Elton John red top hat. It had served its purpose. And now... I managed to unzip and whip it out. I dumped the glasses and stuff out of the hat and let loose. Clever boy...
Of course, the hat wasn't waterproof. It was felt or pressed paper or some shit. I realized this as hot urine started to fill my lap. I couldn't stop pissing. I finally pulled over. I opened the door and set the hat down in the street. Some quiet neighborhood. With a nice surprise for the morning... I was still soaking wet. But at least I didn't have to pee. I got back onto what looked like the right road. I drove and drove. And I wound up dead-ending at the gated community.
As I started to u-turn, I noticed a security cop in a parked car. Fuck. I looked at the clock. It was 2:45 am. And here I was. A piss-soaked Yoko Ono with pink feathers all over my black turtleneck. I rolled down my window and called "Help!" Joking... always joking...
I asked him how to get back onto the 210. He told me how to get there, but I didn't really understand what he said. As long as we both stayed in our cars, I would be okay. I thanked him and drove away. As far away from the gated community as I could get.
I wound up in some sort of city. Everything was closed. But there would be signs here. Signs to the freeway. But then my bladder called. I sped down the street. I cut through a gas station parking lot, past some kids who were filling up their car. Idly chatting at the pump. I headed around the station to the back. The bathroom door was locked. I was already soaked, but I'd be damned if I was going to actually wet my fucking pants. I walked to the darkest part of the parking lot and took a leak. I kept imagining getting caught. Elton Yoko in the wet jeans. "When are you gonna come down? When are you going to land?"
I was lucky. No one saw me. Or at least the tape hasn't come out yet. I thought I should find a motel and crash for the night. "'Ello, love, got a room?" I got back in the car and drove. And there it was. A sign showing the entry ramp to the 210 Freeway. All I wanted to do was get home. I got on the freeway and drove as carefully and fast as I could. There wasn't a lot of traffic. I drove and drove. And nothing looked familiar. Then I saw a sign. I was heading for Ventura. Ventura? Like, Santa Barbara? The ocean? Miles and miles from where I was supposed to be.
I realized what was wrong. I didn't want to be on the 210. I needed to be on the 10 Freeway. I got off the freeway, considered finding a hotel, got back on the freeway, and headed back toward... home, maybe. I cranked up the volume on "Yellow Brick Road" and drove. At one point, I noticed that I had no gas. The indicator was about an eighth of an inch below the "E." But I couldn't stop.
Eventually, somehow, I wound up on some street that took me back into Hollywood. Hollywood. Home. Hollywood. Late on a Saturday night. There were people. There were always people here.
home sweet hollywood
I got home. There was a new message on the machine. I played it back. It was me. Final words. An apology, in case I had died or killed someone. Hardly enough. What will it take me to learn?...sonofabitch
Okay. I'll quit. I'll quit.
How empty was the tank? They say it's a fifteen gallon tank. I've put in almost sixteen on occasion. The next day, I filled the tank. Seventeen gallons... I'll quit. But as I re-read this... Nevermind... I'll be fine...
maybe he didn't win...
the black jimmy buffet