I was surprised to find pages from my long lost mini-comic (in much higher resolution than they deserve) on my friend Cedric’s old band Outhouse’s website. I scanned those pages for him 2 years ago on my roommate’s PC, gave them to Cedric on a big stack of discs, and pretty much forgot about them. Now here they are, a slow-loading snapshot of my 20-year-old psyche.
The accordian player came back a year or two ago. I see him walking up Denny or Olive sometimes with his big black dog & his big brown dog. I’m speaking, of course, about the man who plays Beatles & Billy Joel tunes on Broadway. He was always there, then he was gone for a long time, & then one day he was back.
When he came back he had a mustache, the big black dog & the original big brown dog (though a little greyer). But after awhile it was just him & the black dog. And now he has a new brown dog.
I’ve never talked to him. I wouldn’t know what to say. He’s just there, like the piano man. (And he plays a pretty fine version of Piano Man by the way.)
I’m on a bus & I realize that all of my cash is in the wrong type of currency. I’ll need to make a transaction soon, so I go up to childhood acquaintance Ronnie & ask him to change my money into dollars. He trades me a stack of twenties & a few small bills for my foreign currency & I return to my seat.
Later I notice that the new money has a pulpy texture. I’m worried that I might have been given counterfeit money, so I search through the money: Among the ones & fives there’s a tiny four dollar bill. On the back of one of the twenties where it usually says “Twenty Dollars”, it says “Play Money” & the rest of the twenties have disclaimers printed on the front that indicate that the bills are counterfeit.
Confetti/mini-flyers covered with illustrations, slogans, & non sequiters in flurries around the sidewalks – apparently dropped by protestors: “viva zapata – viva zapata”, “GENERAL STRIKE NOW!!!”, “Fuck Authority!”, & the conflicting sentiments: “QUIT BEING PASSIVE” & “>whyvote >whyvote >whyvote”
The “Light up the night! Meet at crack park in Belltown, tonight at dusk.” mini-flyer from last year is still floating around here somewhere.
I’m guessing that I was 7 or 8, which would mean that Chris was 13 or 14. Chris & next door neighbor friend Robert were messing around with Robert’s motorcycle & had ridden out on the dirt roads that weave around in the grape vine fields. I hunted them down & was bothering them, asking them to take me for a spin. Robert said he was out of gas & that he’d let me ride if I went to a nearby house & asked them for a little cup of gas. I didn’t believe that he was out of gas, so I asked him to take the gas cap off & show me. He did & there was clearly still some gas in the tank. Robert insisted that it was oil, which goes in the gas tank as well. I didn’t buy it & bugged them for a while longer before heading back home, mad. Soon after I’d gotten out of their line of site, I heard the engine start & a couple of minutes later Robert & Chris rounded the corner on the motorcycle & passed by me, laughing. I continued stomping my way home. At some point they came back to me or they stopped & let me catch up with them. Robert let me get on the back & ride until we were just out of site of the house. I got off the motorcycle, so that mom wouldn’t see. Chris & I got home; and my mom was furious, somehow she knew that they’d given me ride.