I haven't written any of this down for a few years now, ever since my 'lectric Sears cheapie typewriter broke for the last time. The goddamn thing never made it thru the first ribbon or even the correction ribbon which tends to go even quicker. In my mind's eye i can see the japanese businessman who built it chuckling over the coup he pulled on Sears.
This is a good time to start doing this again as I am suffering badly from last night's overindulgence. The last time I wrote, my calling card wasn't Kash, er.. Krash .... it has been some time.
Well, the hangover I had the last time I wrote got to be too much for me, and I didn't get far. I'm better now ... in fact, my Probation 0fficer would be proud. 'cept for lunch, I haven't had any booze since 8:49 PM, Friday (my internal clock keeps track of such events it deems important). The reason for the weekend of religious retreat stems from the fact that my last unfortunate misadventure with 'the nector of the Gods' was on thursday, and the memory of it is still too painful.
It started, innocently enough, with a phone call in the afternoon. I was all set to work diligently into the night to get the Golden Gate shopping center specs done. The call was from Gary Canevari, current Worshipful Master of my Masonic Lodge. His voice quivering, he inquired if I could do a funneral.
'Tonight, 7:30, Fairchilds on North Federal .... 'Gary, this is short notice....'
'I tried to call last night. I couldn't reach you. (he was pleading now)
'OK, I'll be there." (noticable sigh from Gary and profuse thanks)
I hung up the receiver with a sadistic grin. I played the main part in these solemn events, and I always arrived seconds before the ceremony was to begin (sometimes at the wrong funneral home), causing the other players much beating of breast, pulling of hair and other anxieties. This call had changed my plans somewhat. I had planned to work 'til nine, then stop at Rubino's to see Oscar on the way home. Now, I would have to go home at six, change into my mildewed suit (we haven't had one of these things for awhile), go to the funneral in downtown Lauderdale and stop at Rubino's on the way back to the office (I still had plans to work at this point).
Everything went as planned 'til I got to Rubino's.....
'Hi Larry, Perrier tonight?'
Anne (Oscar) is busy .... other people i've met are in the bar ... we talk ... at the funneral copies of bids for reroofing the lodge were stuffed into my hands for my expert opinion. 'I'm not a roofer' I protested. It didn't work. I study the bids at the bar. Too late I see my error.
"My boyfriend has a roofing business, well, I mean he sells a roofing system ... Aqua-something.'
'Thanks, have a card?' (I quickly put the estimates away)
'Yes, right here ... (she performs the inevitable purse search) 'Thanks, I'll call him.' (the card disapears into the suit to be found the next time another unfortunate brother Mason goes to his reward.)
Time passes ... more talk ... more Pauli Girls ... Oscar's shift ends. There's a chance she and some others will meet at Coco's on the beach. After awhile I decide to go to Coco's. The die is cast.
I'm at Coco's. My first time here..Hmm', pretty slick, like a new york, no, Mlami nightclub, pastels, art deco, flamingos, palm trees, and oh yes, faggots. Oscar is not here. I have a Beck's beer ... more time passes ... the lights go on and I notice the slow swirls of fog behind my eyes. I also notice only the bartender, myself and two gay blades remain in the place. I decide to run for my life ... on the road heading home ... I wake up. HOLY MOTHER OF GOD! WHERE THE HELL AM I? I am sitting upright behind the wheel of my rented company car. It is daylight (shit!). The car is off (whew!). The keys are not in the ignition (shit, damn!). I have my clothes on but, the keys are not in my pockets (jesus, shit, damn). I look around and see that i'm parked on a construction site (oh lordy, what did I do to deserve this?). I gain enough of my wits back (due to the adrenalyn that has begun to pump through my veins) to realize the situation I'm in is a definite violation of probation. time to book.
A week before the construction site episode, I had embarked on a three-day party binge (I didn't realize it was a three-day affair 'til the second day). It began, innocently enough, on thursday night at happy hour. Thursday nights as of late seem to have the same influence on me as a full moon. Derek, B.C., Cee, Pete and I were at the Wildflower, doing what we all do well, drinking various conncoctions, watching passing women and recounting the adventures of the day. A slightly glazed over Joe Irrasitano wanders over to us. Joe is trying to live up to his reputation as the good-looking italian cocksman. He is wearing a shit-eating grin and a young new-wave girl. Joe introduces the girl and we introduce ourselves ...
'I'm Krash with a K.'(she looks confused)
"I'm Bill Clark."
'Joe.'(a friend of Cee)
'I'm Cee with a C.'(she looks worried.)
Joe is in a good mood. He displays this by putting Bill Clark in a headlock. B.C. gets a white-knuckle grip on the bar, and as he talks softly to Joe, wonders if the management would object to Joe taking a shortcut over the rail to the downstairs bar. Joe's attention span is short, and he moves on with the new-wave woman in tow, muttering about dinner. Later on, the girl comes back to announce to us that 'your friend Joe is an ASSHOLE!!. It seems that Joe's attention span is indeed short, and that he has left the Wildflower with another girl he has just met.
I decide to branch off from the group at this point and move on to Rubino's in Pompano before Oscar's shift ends.
The hour or so I spend with Oscar turns out to be uneventful. I make a date with Oscar for Saturday to show her how to use an Apple computer. I decide to go to Ft. Lauderdale rather than home ... It is this precise moment that moderation becomes wretched excess.
First stop: Roland's. I valet park the Cavalier and meet the Doorman.
'How you doin', Keppy?' (Kat is one of the few who still call me by my pre-Krash nickname)
Inside now, looking around. Huummmm. thought I might find Derek and B.C. here. I speak to a few people I know, drink a couple of Becks and move on to Christopher's.
Through the front door and up to the bar at Christopher's, I immediately run headlong into a motley trio consisting of Jim & Steve who are a pair of 60's longhairs who now deal in military antiques and the right reverend Alan Guy Gliechman. My fate is sealed. Jim is a young Burl Ives, a large heavy man, balding on top with shoulder-length straggley gray hair and beard. Steve is very thin with jet black hair in a ponytail. Both wear glasses and I've never seen one without the other ... Spiritual siamese twins, I guess. Al Gleichman is an excentric artist whose appearance is that of a salty fishing boat captain. We know each other well, and this isn't the first time these men have played parts in my misadventures. We drink, laugh and comment on life on the Gold Coast.
Cliff, the club's disk jockey comes by ...
'What's up, Krash?'
'Not Much, just more of the same.u
"Your song's in the lineup. Should be on in 'bout twenty minutes.'
He moves on. I don't get to Christopher's often these days, but Cliff always tries to play 'roadhouse blues' for me if there aren't too many disco dancers on the floor. It's always been my theme song..
'I got up this morning, and got myself a beer ... The future is uncertain, and the end is always near.' Jim Morrison 1970
About this time, David, one of the owners slides by. "I want five rootbeers over here." he cries. David's main interests in life are buying shooters for his customers and taking every good looking woman he sees on a tour of the office.
It is several shooters later now, and my memory circuits are beginning to fuse. I find myself back out on the road again with no recollection of how I got there. I am on a desperate mission now, bent on self-destruction.
It is sometime around midnight and I reason that Derek and B.C. might be at the Brown Derby. I dial up the Brown Derby's location on the Cavalier's imaginary autopilot, and then put my brain on idle for the rest of the journey.
There are only five people in the Brown Derby, including Betty, the bartender.
I order a heinkin and review the situation. if Derek is not here, then he must be somewhere else. I decide to call the Wildflower, the last place I saw him. Easier said than done. After a brutal fight with directory assistance, and the automated voice that demands long-distance coinage, I finally reach the Wildflower..
'Is Derek Vander Ploeg there? He should be at Chris's bar, upstairs.' (a few moments pass.)
'This is Derek.'
'this is Krash. i'm at the Brown Derby.'
'Hold tight, I'm on my way.'
I return to my seat ... Time passes..Betty says 'hey buddy, you can't sleep here!'
'Wha..Oh yeh..Sorry, Buy my friends a drink.'
'There's nobody with you!
'uh..right. But there wil; be soon.' (a weak reply at best.)
Five more minutes pass, and Derek rolls through the door. This has the effect of giving me a second wind. We converse with Betty 'til closing time. I wander around the parking lot 'til Derek herds me to the passenger side of the 'vette. Even though it is after 2 AM, we head for Scalley's Saloon. Scalley's is closed, but the bartender, Charlotte, is standing outside with her current boyfriend who happens to be driving a white '84 corvette like Derek's. We, of course, talk about corvettes for about 15 minutes. Charlotte occasionlly giggles over my condition, which causes me to check my fly.
Derek and I are back on the road again, on our way to Foxfire, a strange 4 o'clock bar on 62nd street. It is strange because of the unusual mix of customers. You often find bikers engaged in deep philosophical discussions with three-piece suited CPAs and other unlikely combinations.
We find an open spot at the bar and order a couple of beers. A strange girl comes up and occupies the empty seat next to us. She immeadiately tears into Derek like a rabid pit bull. It was a hell of a surprise attack, and it takes Derek a few seconds to recover. Derek has gained the offensive when the crazy wornan's boyfriend arrives, a dumpy kind of guy in his early thirties. the girl tries to pit the boyfriend against Derek. In a brillant manoeuvre, without precedence as far as I know, Derek gains the victory. He pulls the boyfriend off to the side and after about twenty minutes of conversation, convinces the guy this chick is crazy, and that he could do a lot better for himself. The boyfriend pays his tab and leaves without the crazy girl. She no longer has any wind in her sails and is no longer a threat to anyone. She is quickly forgotten. The lights come on, and the bar closes. We make it to Derek's and daughter Christine's apartment. Derek attacks the refrigerator, while I take up residence on the floor in front of the flickering TV and begin to slip into lower levels of existence.
10 AM. Derek drops me at the Brown Derby where we left the Cavalier. It is raining, but I can't tell which side of my eyes the rain is on. Derek goes on to the office and his first meeting of the day. I head for home to clean up and feed my retarded amazon parrot, Mithrandir ( Editor's Note: Mithrandir was renamed "Wingnut" when he reached 20 without learning to talk or hold down a job!). Mithrandir was born in South America and it is my solemn belief he made his way to the United States via the Pan American highway in the hubcap of a '48 DeSoto. The experience scrambled him for good. He can't talk, and he's afraid of everyone, but I can sympatize since I often find myself in the same wretched condition. As I enter the house, my roomate's African Grey parrot starts up ...
'What's going on here?'
'What are you doing?'
Rock and rrolllll.'
I take a shower and bounce around the house for about a hour before heading north to the office in Boca. I time my arrival for lunch. Nobody is in the the office except for Dennis. The check-out roster tells me most of my co-workers are at haggerty's. I go to Haggerty's. It is still raining. I'm pretty sure by now that most of the rain is on the outside.
In Haggerty's I find Cee Bee, Christine and Jeff in one booth and Jackson, Luis, Kenny and Little Phil in another booth. Luis sees me coming. He tells the others not to look. He is afraid.
They have all come to know what it means when I show up in a gaudy hawiian shirt, faded jeans and deck shoes, and it is not a pretty sight. I sit with Cee, Chris and Jeff, much to the relief of the Boiler Room Boys. Chris merely chuckles. She remembers what I looked like two hours earlier sprawled on the floor in a death-warmed-over attitude.
I order a Pauli Girl beer and a basket of burgers, the house speciality. While the others talk, I wimper softly to myself.
After lunch, I meander about the office, not being of much use to anyone. I decide that this is a cameo appearance, and the company
records will show that nobody of my description showed for work on this date. The time drags by, but as miller time approaches, Cee comes up with a plan. At five, the two of us will journey to the Mai Kai in Ft. Lauderdale. This is a grave undertaking from which few return. I also receive a call from Melon Smith. She and Toby are having a dinner party on Saturday night, and will Derek and I attend? We will. It is at this point that I begin to realize it is a three-day adventure, and that my survival is not guaranteed.
Cee and I arrive at the Mai Kai at the same time, and we are greeted by a friend of Cee's named Clyde. This is a stroke of luck since Clyde has reserved a table. We sit and begin knocking off rum barrels, a deceptively smooth tropical drink which is reported to have about six shots of blended rums to the barrel. More of Clyde's friends arrive. Clyde begins a fight over a chair with a foreign national sitting next to us. We manage to calm Clyde down before any bloodshed erupts, but he can still be heard muttering curses under his breath every 15 minutes or so. Happy hour ends, and boy, are we happy. Cee and I've each consumed three rum barrels. While waiting for my car, I direct a girl in a late model eldorado around a mis-parked pontiac. There is barely enough room between the pontiac and the high railroad tie curbing to get by. With my help, the girl manages to go over the curb and almost get the eldo saddlebacked. Well, shit. you can't win 'em all. My cavalier comes up. I slip the valet a couple of bucks and follow the girl's example, up on the railroad tie for about twenty feet. Shit! Sometimes you can't win any of "em.
Cee, his friend Joe and I arrive at Roland's. The rum is beginning to exact a heavy toll and the situation is turning sour. There will be no prisoners this night. My sensors start to short out and I can recall only isolated parts of the evening from this point on. Nic Hosking is here and so is Al and Toby. Bobby Brant is here and I see the girl from the Mai Kai. Cee's mom shows up with Sally. Sally shoots me in the face with a concealed squirt gun and is disappointed when I am too blitzed to notice. Cee's mom flirts with Joe. I inform Joe 'You can dance with her all ya want, but she's goin' home wit' me!'. I run into Shaffer-Bird. She is with the girl whose eldo I beached. Bird works for a developer, who is interested in using VPA as Architects. Her company has already been contacted by Dolan, and they have our resumes. Lord, I hope Dolan hasn't done too much damage. He has a marketing man's twisted sense of the truth which reminds me of the grip on reality a person addicted to horse tranquilizer has. i wander back to Cee and Co. Someone decides we are going to Yesterday's.
I am the first to arrive at Yesterday's, and I wait just inside for the others. Things are getting out of hand. There's a flashing red sign behind my eyelids: 'Warning! Your brain may no longer be the boss.' Cee and Company arrive. We make our way upstairs .... Time passes ... All my friends have left. I am standing at the upstairs bar rapping with two guys and a girl. I don't know what the fuck we,ve been talking about, but we seem to be having fun. After further investigation, I find that the girl is Jewish, divorced and that at least one of the guys is gay, a real swishy one at that. He eventally makes a pass. It is time for me to get the hell out of here.
Back at Roland's, not knowing how I got there. My barely functioning condition must be highly noticable. Kat informs me I am going home by cab, and that I am going home now. I get in the cab, and tell the driver to head for 1-95 and Copans road .... Time passes ... We get lost ... We backtrack and find my house. It usually costs fifteen and change to get to my doorstep from Roland's. This time it cost twenty-two bucks, but I am home safe if not sound.
It is ten AM, Saturday morning. The noise inside head reminds me a lot of what the turbine rooms at Hoover Dam must sound like. I remember vaguely that I made a date with Oscar for today. She will not be up 'til noon, so I have some time to determine whether I will live or not. By twelve, I'm starting to pull it together enough to call Oscar ...
'Helllo .... ??'
'Hi Oscar, It's Larry.'
"Hi ... Larry ... what time is it?' 'It's noon.'
"I'm ... still..in bed, and it'll take me awhile to get it together.'
'That's good 'cause it'll take me, uh, hour ... hour an' a half to take care of the damage control work at this end. Meet you at Wag's, say 1:30?'
'Yeesss. See you then.'
First things first. I call another cap to take me to Roland's to retrieve my trusty steed. When I began using cab service on a regular basis, the service part was missing. I could feel my beard grow waiting for the damn taxi. However, once the word spread among the cabbies that I was an easy touch, things improved dramatically. For a while I even had my own personal driver hanging out a couple of blocks from my house, waiting to pounce, like a buzzard on a shitwagon. This particular day it took about ten minutes for the familiar yellow and white chevy to arrive. I get inside, and as we head south, ponder why the insides of these vehicles always look like the DMZ. I can almost see the napalm. Do these cars do double duty as transport for metro zools most dangerous inmates? And why are they always chevies? These are questions for wiser men than i, and I soon move on to other topics. Thank the great dispatcher of the univerise, this driver is not a talker, and I can get through this distasteful ride in peace. Sometimes, you want a talker, like in Key West, but this is not the time, Kato.
Roland's. I pay the cabbie and go inside.
'Have a Becks, Krash?'
"Thanks, Vicki. But no. I'm in search of car keys.'
'check behind the counter at the door, Krash.'
'Thanks, Vicki. See ya later.'
The Cavalier is intact, and as I leave Roland's parking lot, I am humming Willie Nelson's 'On The Road Again' slightly out-of-tune.
Fuck, a whole lot out-of-tune, but I can't tell with this Caterpiller D-9 bulldozer moving around in my tortured brain, tryin' to move the hangover cobwebs out of the way. The thirty minute Oceanside drive to Boca is uneventful.
At the office now, taking apart the Apple //c computer for transport home. The Apple //c is advertized as a portable computer, but in my wretched shape, it takes me about twenty minutes to dismantle it. Barb comes into the office about the time i'm ready to split. She's working on the Beyerle project, a somewhat nasty shopping center/office building complex. Nasty in the sense of being difficult to draw. It seems almost everytime Barb needs my opinion or advice, I don't want to be bothered, and I tend to respond with the primitive growl of a cornered wildcat. This dosen't deter Barbara, however, and she's becoming quite the liontamer in addition to her architectural skills. She can get along by herself today without any help from me, and I continue with my mission. I don't quite know what the mission is, but that has never stopped me before.
I get to Wag's about five minutes late, but not to worry. Oscar is ten minutes late. I get a window table and rest. It's the first time i've been able to think about the sorry state my head is in since the cab ride. I make a promise to myself never to overindulge in drink again. Anne arrives. She seems to be suffering from having too much fun just as I am. Lunch turns into a total disaster. We seem to be located between waitress stations and nobody wants to wait on us. We finally get menus and after a long wait, we even get to order. Oscar orders a hot fudge sunday and coffee. I order chilli and ice tea. The chilli is bad (they use a chedder cheese substitute here that DuPont must ship to them in used toxic waste barrels). I only have one spoon of the stuff which hits the bottom of my stomach at mach 4 and immediately causes another alarm bell in my head (the bulldozer is gone, only to be replaced by something similar to the three-mile island control room the day things went bad). There is no ice cream in Oscar's hot fudge sunday. She is still determined to have something worthwhile to eat, and she orders potato skins. Oscar loses again. The skins come cold and saturated with more rancid fryer grease than the vats they came from. Oscar calmly instructs me not to move and then heads for the manager's throat in a blood red rage. I sit quitely. I know she will return with the man's bloody scalp in her teeth, and I entertain the comforting thought that the people who work in this place will tremble in fear everytime they see me from this point on.
Anne follows me to my homestead. She plays with the charcoal cat while I set up the Apple. I feel stupid when she asks what the little bastard's name is, and I don't know. As far as I know, the only thing he answers to is the sound of a can opener. Setting up the Apple turns into an ordeal when I have to move my 23-inch color TV from my bedroom to the 'library' where the computer is. Sharp Electronics jokingly calls this model a portable. The goddamn thing is heavier than a dead baptist preacher. I have broken out in a sweat, but finally all the wires are connected. I get Oscar comfortably seated at the keyboard and begin to explain the machine to her. The machine does not want to be explained, however, and decides to malfunction at
this exact point in time, making me feel like a donkey dick ... Correction, a hungover donkey dick. No matter what I try, the machine's disk drive will not work. I give Oscar some Interior Magazines to help her in a school project as a consolation prize. The thought hovers in the back of my feverish brain that this might be the time to get romantic, but the risk is too great. I just couldn't handle rejection and this hangover both at the same time. The only noble course left to me, should that occur, would be to run out in front of the city bus that passes by the house every few hours, and terminate this tortured existence. I reflect that I have quite a few cases of beer to go through before that final demonstration of frustration and despair, and decide not to make the pass. Anne leaves and I lay down for a couple of hours, knowing that Melon and Toby's party is close at hand.
I get to Melon and Toby's house at precisely 7:30 PM, and the carnage begins once more. I meet some of their new friends and start sucking on a Loenbrau. After about a hour of small talk with people I don't know, The first of the ones I do know show up. I take it as a bad sign that these people are Gail (Melon's sister) and Vinnie (Gail's husband). These people are hard-core rock-and-rollers, and we always get into trouble when we meet. The last time we were together, as I recall, we drank a quart of Overproof Rum in one sitting. It was a grim sight. This time is no different. After greetings, we adjourn to the kitchen with the single-minded purpose of doing overlarge shooters of Southern Comfort out of champagne glasses. After a couple to these, we are beginning to roll, and the memory of my hangover fades into the distance.
Time passes ... Derek arrives. I am well oiled by now and talking loudly. A few numbers pass through the crowd. Joe Butler and Bobby Brant show up. They have been to the football game in Miami, and are now hurting troopers, red-eyed and tipsey. Bobby drops his steak on the floor, but it's a damn good steak, and the floor looks clean, so what the fuck. He reaches down, picks it up and resumes devouring it. In Bobby's state, no germs could survive in his system more than 15 seconds anyway. Little do I realize, I will surpass his level of intoxication by midnight.
Somehow, I end up in the kitchen again with Vinnie and the Southern Comfort. Four more shooters and even I can't understand my speech patterns. Toby and Melon both assure me that I can sleep on the sofa. This causes Toby's boyfriend, Al, to inform her that she is going home with him tonight. I begin to lose it at an increasingly rapid rate. I'm in a Krash dive I can't pull out of, and I don't have a parachute.
I wake up. It's seven AM. The sofa is a settee, and my legs are hanging over the arm of the thing. This has two effects: There is an godawful purple splotch behind my right kneecap, and Melon's cats have been using my dangling leg to sharpen their claws. I realize this more and more as the Southern Comfort wears off, and my hangover returns. I collect my thoughts (It doesn't take long. There aren't many of them). I quietly sneak to the front door. Goddamn my sad luck. The door is glass, deadbolted with a key from both sides, and I am locked in. Shit! I can't get out. The back door is the same way, and the yard is fenced in, anyway. I know from some of the sounds that reached me in my stupor that Melon is not alone in her room, and that I will have to wait for her to get up. Fuck! I go back to the settee to fend off the cats 'til that happens. Sometime around ten, the door bell rings. I peek cautiously through the blinds, and a good thing too, for at the door stand two Jehovah's Witnesses, and I can feel it in my very bones that they've come for me. I hunker down behind the sofa and hold my breath, preparing, in my mind, to leap through the nearest window, should they breach the door. They won't take me to Kingdom Hall alive. They eventally give up, and I dose fitfully while I wait for Melon. About eleven, Melon comes into the living room and lets me escape.
'morning, Melon. I tried to sneak out earlier, but the door was locked.'
'Sorry, Krash. The key is right here on this end table.(She points to the keys. They are in plain sight about four feet from the door.)'Oh. Thanks...' (Jesus Christ, damn!)
I'm on the road, twenty minutes from Pompano and the sanctuary of home.
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Last updated: 8/3/96