Here’s a really bad example of a kid who knows nothing thinking he knows everything…
This is the first 5 or 6 pages of my first ‘novel’ which was tentatively titled Recollections of Huckleberrys Passed . It was the fictionalized memoir of my friends and I in our first years of University. It gets much much better as it goes along, but keep in mind, even this beginning was rewritten 10 or 15 times and hasn’t been touched in close to a decade.
I include it here for the sake of completism, and so you can all have a good laugh at my expense.
The rose petals lifted softly all around her as she fell back to lie amidst the clouds.
‘Take me’ she whispered
“Take me. Please.”
This was far too good to be true. I took a slow spin on my heels using all of the senses at my disposal to take in the world I found myself immersed in. We were in a huge garden of endless rose petals and spun gold clouds that floated low like an interstitial fog that covered all and everything. I thought and I pondered and considered my companion and decided that I had indeed died and been received into heaven. Heaven, and we were here together at last.
Drew Barrymore and I, un-fucking-believable. Here she was ready, waiting, and I was more than happy to comply. This was definitely too good to be true, but then who was I to complain?
I moved in slowly caressing the nakedness of her thighs, kissing every angelic inch of her, salty sweat on my tongue. Her skin was so soft, so perfect, that I could barely contain the excitement that had so understandably shaken me. I could hear her whispering my name and breathing in wisps of pure joy. I began to kiss her lips, those full and perfect lips that I’ve longed for since I first saw them at a Drive-Inn when I was just a lad of seven. I had truly been waiting my whole life for this moment. There she was lying on the scented floor of heaven, with nothing to it but to do it. I was about to make love to the object of all of my adolescent desires, the most beautiful and vibrant woman alive, and as I gazed deep into her greenish eyes she said,
“Hey are you getting up or what?”
What was happening? Was that a mans voice? I looked up to see her in a classic Roman pose and quickly pushed all doubts aside. I decided instantaneously to move into position.
” Kaz. Get the fuck up!”
I screamed and jumped back into the shadows as I watched everything slip away. The divine
Miss Barrymore sank into the rose petals, which folded into the golden mist, leaving nothing but the harsh light of morning, tearing into my brain.
” Get your ass out of bed Kaz.”
I pried my eyes open and there was Remy, standing in the doorway with an ugly, satisfied smile on his excessively hairy face.
” You greasy fuck” I mumbled.
” Don’t worry big guy, she’ll be back for more of the five knuckle fantasy tonight.”
” Fuck you!” I shouted and hurled a pillow, just missing his head.
As Remy rounded the corner he reached back and held up a finger. Bastard. I contemplated granting Drew another chance, but for some bizarre reason I opted for my 9 a.m. Psychology lecture. So I hauled myself out of bed, as cow-heavy as I could possibly be, took care of basic hygiene and threw on some jeans and a sweatshirt. I grabbed a half frozen toaster pastry and my trusty ball cap and slid out the door still stuffing books into my bag, with one hand raised in a one-fingered gesture of goodwill to Remy.
Just another fucking day, that’s what I always told myself, but that particular morning held a sense of promise. Besides, it was Friday and nothing was about to ruin the prospect of 2 days of freedom. Of course there would be the usual bullshit classes, the ones that made me wish that I had stayed in bed with Drew. The boring lectures, the nonsensical babbling in the halls, the redundant and mundane questions posed by vacant people who were only attending because it was something to do, instead of work. Most of them were ‘Spoon-feeders’, trust-fund babies or upper middle class brats, using Mommy and Daddy’s fortunes to waste time between summers at the lake. They were the ones who pissed me off the most, pathetic hangers-on who sat around drinking weak $7 cappuccino all day, trying to write poetry about the tragedy of their lives, or pseudo-pontificating on the state of world affairs, of which they only knew from half-listening to MTV news. The fact is, the only tragedies most of them had ever faced were when the local boutique sold out of the hip new jeans, or when they were seated near the kitchen at that oh, so trendy new eatery. I grew up in an average middle class home, but I had to work from the day I hit teendom. My parents died when I was 14, and I went to live with my grandfather, who died when I was 19, that’s tragedy, but I don’t spend all day trying to one-up people with it. I paid my own way through school, and I worked damn hard to pay for tuition and books and anything else I needed. I was taught to work hard and appreciate whatever I had. These people made me sick, the way that they had nothing of their own, nothing earned, and yet they treated everyone else like second-class citizens. They inherited their money and their attitudes, and appropriated anything else they needed. I don’t recall having ever seen one of them with an open book in the 4 years I was at the University. If they had assignments, they paid scholarship students to write them. If they had to speak at a lecture, they had speeches drafted for them. If things weren’t going their way, they would buy off a Professor with gifts and cash. Opinions, friends, world viewpoints, even credit, they would just sponge from everyone around them like parasites sucking on your soul. I had no respect for Spoon feeders – I loathed them. I despised them. They were the white-hot poker that constantly inflamed the lining of my colon.
Here’s a little anecdote that should illustrate why these were a people to be loathed. I recall one of these yuppie larvae in particular, a guy named Tony Carpo, who in High School had been the self appointed King of the jock beer drinker/date raper club. He was the guy who would walk past some unsuspecting artist in the making, knock him down and jeer at his clothes and piss all over his portfolio and think he was some sort of hero. He actually did that to a friend of mine, just because he was wearing sandals with his jeans and one of those loose cotton shirts they wear in Egypt. Tony taunted the kid, shoved him a few times, then punched him in the face and took his sandals, threw them out a second floor window and then had his friends hold the guy down while he wrote ‘I like to suck dick’ on the guys shirt with pink highlighter and black marker. Then they held him over a stairway railing and pretended to sodomize the poor kid, while they took turns spitting on him. To Tony and his ‘friends’ this was the absolute height of wit and hilarity. He was a racist, a homophobe, and a sexist. He would bully, tease and abuse anyone within reach. Savage beatings were doled out to anyone suspected of being an artist, academic, actor, musician or ‘Queer’. Sexual harassment was a second language, and anyone who wasn’t in Tony’s little clique, was either a ‘faggot’, a ‘lezbo’ or a ‘dirty slut’. Tony and his friends were a cancer in our High School, but apparently, an inoperable one, because no matter what complaints or how many, and despite the fact that he should have been failing every class, Tony Carpo was never reprimanded and never punished.
Tony’s Great -grandfather, a hard-working and respectable man, had started a munitions company during WW1, to help in the war effort. By the time Vietnam rolled around, the family business was a government workhorse and Tony’s family was worth billions. His father was a fuck-up and had been all but disowned, but was still worth a few hundred million by way of his inheritance. Tony’s parents were divorced, and Tony was left with his mother, and given a five Thousand dollar per month allowance. He had been raised with no respect for anyone, no use for education, less of a use for the law, and absolutely no concept of the normal societal rules of conduct.
When he turned 21, Tony was given a trust worth 8 million dollars. The only proviso was that he either joined the company business or got a University education. I was extremely dismayed to see Tony around the University a few weeks into my first semester, having hoped and assumed that he would have gone somewhere warm and open to his dedicated laziness. What really bothered me was that he was dressed almost exactly like my friend that he had harassed in High School. Apparently, it was now ‘cool’ to dress in jeans and sandals and white flowy shirts. To top it of, Tony had the gall to be trying to impress some chick by reading Kerouac! It wouldn’t have been almost forgivable except that I overheard him explaining the deep social value of this guy drinking too much wine and ” like, traveling to exhausted places, and exploring his need to fuck like an animal and get high and stuff.” Pathetic. If he had ever had even half a brain in his head it was slowly eaten away by atrophy. Some people I knew said that he would change, now that we were all adults, attending a serious University. Not Tony Carpo. He just steadily settled in as self appointed King of the frat house beer drinking/date rape club. He obviously wasn’t in any of my classes and I never really had to deal with him, outside of seeing him in the Student Center, or on the grounds. It still bothered me, just knowing that he existed, and that he would always get his way because one of his relatives, dead for fifty years, had been a shrewd business man. One great man succeeds, and generations of useless twits are left behind to blemish his legacy.
At any rate, my usual day held nothing but lost freshmen, Euro-trash poseurs, latent stupidity and the occasional sermon on generation differences by some Professor that styled himself either a new age guru, a reincarnated Greek philosopher, or Robin Williams from Dead Poets Society.
Needless to say, when the clock hit ten to five, last class of the day, I broke the sound barrier while escaping the doldrums of ‘higher education’.
The first stop was home for freshening up and spiritual renewal. Remy had classes until seven, so I had plenty of time to waste. I showered and changed into some cleaner jeans and a fresh shirt replete with hibiscus and hula dancers, ate a couple of microwave burritos with a warm beer, and kicked back the La-Z-Boy for Jeopardy.
Jeopardy is, in my opinion, the only game show worth the money it costs to produce. Most game shows are useless games of chance, full of glitz and prizes, staffed by has-been semi-celebrities to distract viewers while the sponsors spin their product jingles in an endless parade of commercialism. Jeopardy, on the other hand, is a battle for supremacy on the fields of knowledge. No comparisons between genitals and politicians. No ham-handed one-liners and puns. No audience feeding answers to asinine, common sense pseudo-trivia that anyone should be able to figure out once they’ve passed the third grade. Jeopardy asks questions you can’t guess at, and if you don’t know…you don’t know. Only the truly intelligent can emerge from Jeopardy unscathed, but anyone can watch Jeopardy and learn more in half an hour, than three months of Hollywood Squares. Honestly, you could probably take a Zulu tribesman, give him a translator and a dictionary, set him in front of Jeopardy, and in two years have a Nobel Laureate and a cure for cancer.
Anyways, Alex was just about to unveil the Final Jeopardy category, and I was up by thirty-five thousand, when Remy smashed and stumbled his way through the front door with an armload of textbooks and a six-pack dangling from his fingers.
” Would you believe that Richardson wants me to write a fifteen page dissertation for Wednesday? Can you believe that shit?!!”
With that Remy cast all of the books he held into his bedroom, and he still managed to hang onto the sixer, cracking open a can within milliseconds of losing the armload. It was a skill that he possessed, almost as if he were an alcohol magnet. Once Remy held a drink in his hand, it did not leave that hand until it was ingested. I turned back to see that I had indeed missed Final Jeopardy and as per the rules had lost my thirty-five by default. Shit. I turned off the T.V. and slid an Al Green disc into the CD player. Remy went on bitching about the assignment he’d been given, but soon enough he was in the shower and I was alone with a slightly colder beer and the Reverend Al. Nothing has ever convinced me that there is a more soothing sound than good R&B from the late sixties and seventies, maybe Chet Baker or Ella, and the twin towers of Louis. Louis Armstrong and Louis Prima were definitely on my all time greats list, but the power metal and pop ballad bullshit of the Eighties definitely had no place in my collection. So I was coolin’ out with the Rev. while Remy got ready, Remy always took his time to primp and groom, and I had soon left him only two beers. This wouldn’t upset Remy, as he understood the rules of friendship and waiting, probably better than anyone. You see Remy was that guy, who in any situation was at least half an hour late with no real explanation. He had some kind of bizarre affliction that caused him to operate in a completely different time continuum than the rest of the known universe. Anywhere, anytime, any event, Remy would be at least 25 minutes late. Remy could set the VCR for seven thirty using the same exact keystrokes as me. If I set it…seven thirty. If Remy set it…. Eight, maybe Eight ten. It never failed; he was a complete temporal oddity.
Still, he was a good guy, and we had been friends for a long time. Remy and I had met our first day of High School, after walking into each other while staring at the same girl in the hallway. We ended up in the same homeroom class and became friends almost immediately. Remy and I never really had that much in common, but we seemed to complement each other perfectly.
Remy was tall, thin, and impeccably well kept. He was a chronic primper and a natural clotheshorse, was obsessively trendy, but outside of his appearance, managed to be a complete and utter slob. Even at 5’8” I was a little short compared to Remy, and was stocky and muscular in a thuggish way. I am one of those guys that people assume must have been a boxer or a wrestler in High School, which didn’t bother me, because I had actually been both. I wasn’t one to worry about name brands or new styles. I was of the ‘relaxed’ wardrobe camp, jeans and t-shirts. If they fit, I wore them, and while I was neurotically clean, and something of a ‘neat freak’, I grew a beard, so that I didn’t have to shave, and I never tucked in my shirt if I wasn’t wearing a suit. Remy was a serial womanizer, who lived for Lakers games and light rock; he drank Heineken for Christ’s sake! I was a poetry-writing romantic, I practiced kickboxing and Zen philosophy, and drank single malt scotch and the nastiest stout this side of Glasgow.
We were somehow inseparable, despite our differences, and spent our high school years going through the rigors of adolescence together. By now we had been roommates for two and a half years of University, and were more like an old married couple than two young Turks. I would nag Remy about cleaning the kitchen and picking up his wet towels, he would harass me about leaving the lights on and sleeping on the couch, chastising me for staying up late. It was the perfect relationship.
Finally, somewhere around Eight thirty, Remy was ready to face the public, decked out in all his latest designer splendor. Remy attracted women left and right, even with the huge lambchop sideburns he refused to shave off. It was odd that someone that was as notoriously well groomed, as Remy would even consider that kind of unruly facial hair. I think that in some way it helped him assert his manhood, that he could grow big wooly facial hair, he had a lot of those ‘am I manly enough?’ issues. I never really made too much of it, that was just Remy, a hairy, insecure, two fisted drinker that was always late and frequently listening to Air Supply.