Today, I was in my old stompin grounds (What the Ol Man used to call it). I stopped in a bookstore after a Dr Appointment. I had not been in that bookstore in ages, wasn’t sure it was still there on Chandler, but I was happy it was. I picked up a couple of impulse books… I will tell you about them later. I had moved away from So Cal for about 20yrs, only to return about 8 years ago. I made sure my children didn’t experience the LA life…Im planning on leaving again soon. Heading to northern Nevada. Anyways, the books I picked up lit up my memory bank and out came flashes of my life. I always seem to hesitate when I put these words down – I know they are incomplete thoughts. I can only hope that I continue to put them down and eventually they will become more complete and vivid.
Growing up in the San Fernando Valley, particularly in an apartment in North Hollywood during my influential teens during the late 70s and early 80s, gave me a colorful and at times. adventurous experience. Perversion was like a close, sometimes quiet family member… always there in the words spoken by my elder influences. I had a front seat to every peep show under the family circus tent. On days like today when the sidewalk is blistering and the air is heavy enough to suppress even the rankest smells from rotted debris that spot the back alleys, it reminds me of when I would sleep on my small balcony of my upstairs one bedroom apartment that I shared with my “Pops”. I would sleep on the balcony for obvious reasons – with no air conditioning it was the only place I could breath during the summer.
It was exciting to see the neighbors from above. I would have a view of both the tenants within my complex and over the concrete wall that separated our fortress from the next. Across the wall towards the rear, just past the carport was a line of single story duplex units and these had the best views. I would watch during those hot summer nights as couples would open the windows to there rooms, pulling back the drapes to get the night air in. At night, the small but un-obscured shower windows would be as bright as a old drive-in theater. I would catch myself staring and at first I would feel embarrassed, but as time went on I found out that I was not the only one watching. I also found that more than one actually knew I was watching and not only didn’t care but enjoyed letting me in. I was a 13yr old boy and from that age until I went into the Navy seven years later, I had visual relationships with many strangers… more than one became more than visual.
My oldest brother had the biggest VHS porn collection in the Valley, so I thought. He also had all the magazines as well. Playboy, Hustler, Penthouse.. I recall him showing me the first “Scratch n Sniff”, Hustler I think? He made such a big deal out of it and shoved it in my face so many times that it wasn’t long before it didn’t smell like the “Cherry” anymore… more like the dirty grease from his fingers after working on cars all day. Before the VHS videos it was only the magazines… or home videos.
The Venus was just around the corner from my apartment. I and my friends were probably the youngest boys to ever be able to actually get in at 16. A live peep show … I recall seeing girls that would lay on the bed in the middle of the round, and read their school books while laying naked, legs apart. I and my friend would sometimes stand in the same small closet with a window view… and laugh at the old men across the view who looked like they were convulsing or leaning over with there comic faces pressed against the glass. We would make faces back at them…mimicking there moves. We were chased out many times and threatened for our lives if we ever came back. But we would know who was on duty and the later the night went on the easier it was to get in.
Like I had mentioned above, these are random thoughts of my past and not sure where they begin or end. They just are.
White Trash. I came from a mixed family of half-steps… half sisters and brothers mixed in with step sisters and brothers. At one time there was fourteen children in a three bedroom house. Nine boys and five girls of which I was the baby. I was a bastard child spawn from a hot august night affair my mother had. I can only hope it was someone she really liked, because she died at age 31, when I was eleven months old and took the identity of my biological father with her. I was told all this when I was eleven, when the Ol Man was booted out of the house by the step mom for cheating on her with the neighbor lady. I remember her coming over before I went to school, with just a robe on. The Ol Man was home as well. The step-mom was out selling Avon.
I remember having such a sigh of relief, knowing the that sick ass-step mother was Not my mother. I stayed with her for about a month before I chose to go live with “Pops”… I had enough of the ouija board lessons and being told that my mothers ghost was always near me. Before that day, and as far back as I can remember, I was visited frequently by her with the usual spirited beatings with whatever felt good in her hand. I was also prevented from eating properly and kept in isolation. I know what your thinking … am I a sociopath… Well, I think for possibly genetic reasons, I am not what they would specify as having the “Warrior” gene… I have never hit a woman, in fact I found it difficult to even spank my children (of course this is a direct effect of taking beatings from both my so called “Parental” figures). I came to the realization that I was just an object of there discontent. I learned much later in life to forgive and told myself it wasn’t personal… 🙂
Do I have a demented soul… That is without question. By the time this story begins with me a teenager in North Hollywood, I had already experienced some fractured events… of which most I have suppressed so far down that its actually very hard for me to remember before age 11.
I do try to make light reference to these experiences… Like the fact that I know to flush the toilet before you drink out of it…and that I would like to know who invented those damn soap grapes… the ones that looked like a bushel of grapes but were really bath soaps… Yep, I was hungry and took a bite of one. That I do remember.
Wow, I am letting the world into my dark closet. I will keep bringing those short stories of my life to these pages.