Fucktkowski??? (1 Viewer)


"What happened to you???"
Those were Nelson's words as he opened the door to The Rehab
At The Beach. This visit was the 2nd one. The one that lasted ten
"What the fuck do you think?" I answered
"Can you believe this shit?" I said to the father who had just
driven 90 miles to bring me there.
"I'm out of here"
Rather than leave me there, the way he probably should have
kicked me out of the house when I turned eighteen, he didn't argue
or force me to stay.
Nine minutes later we were back on the road.
It's funny that the father thing is worming its way into this
chapter, and not altogether inappropriate, as I wasted most of the
weekend at war with a cabal that caters to the memory of The Old
Man in a manner he would have detested. A website. Worse yet, a
tribute website, whose sole aim is to provide an outlet for other like
minded, snarky over-educated types who live to rehash The Old
Man's memory amongst themselves. Then Coach Nolan died.
This is where Coach Nolan, Carmel, The Rehab By The Beach,
Fathers, Forgiveness, and The West Coast Offense come together
in confluence.
Coach Nolan was at the helm of the 49er franchise for their only
spell of NFL success prior to the arrival of The Maestro in 79. The
Niners were an afterthought to me. Something to watch when my
new favorite football team wasn't on the pre-ESPN black and
white we watched football on. The Dolphins. The Cowboys. The
Steelers. Those were the kind of teams that could capture the
imagination of a kid not nuanced in terms of team loyalty. Loyalty
my father had plenty of, both for his son, and his beloved
Chargers. The Chargers were even more of an afterthought in
those pre-ESPN, pre-Nike days. Rarely on TV, more rarely seen
on MNF highlights. Rare indeed was the night you'd get to hear
Howard Cosell say anything about the Bolts at half-time. I
humored my father by feigning interest in them, but then they too
captured that imagination of mine. And never let go.
The year was 1978 and the Chargers had just drafted John
Jefferson, a wide receiver out of ASU, who came to be known as
J.J. Not only did he consistently make circus catches, he made
them in the biggest of games. Namely against the hated raiders.
One-hander's in the corner of the end zone. Rolling past the great
Lester Hayes' Stickum'd reach to score a winning touchdown. He
gave us a toughness, a will to win, that theretofore hadn't existed in
the Chargers in that cursed generation I came from. Fouts to
Jefferson. Fouts to Joiner. Fouts to Winslow. Air Coryell. The
precursor to the West Coast offense that won that NFC
Championship game against the Bears the week prior to my
encountering Nelson the following weekend, after filching forty bux
from my grandma's purse on Dolores Street, where the hot Italian
chick I wasn't aware was hot at ten, had a grandma too. Directly
across Dolores from mine. Coach Nolan's son was boning her,
though at ten I wouldn't have known that either. Or really wanted
"You have been banned for the following reason:_Worse than
being a bad writer, you are boring. Everyone is falling asleep
watching your one-man circle jerk. Call _____ to listen to your
junior high wannabe bullshit. Thank you, goodnight!"
The cabal had banned me from their Fucktkowski site. I didn't
know which was more crushing, having to change the font back
while writing this or having the writing labeled junior high level. I
had been aiming for elementary school.
I hadn't previously told you about ____ or the 3rd leg in our axis,
_____. ______ made everything happen. Without him we would
never have garnered our Big Opening, nor would I have garnered
my first commission check for my writing since my punk rock rag,
Scum-Words, had sold out of both extremely limited printings at
1.50 a pop, or a beer, whichever came first in 83.
In fact, I was prepared to leave them completely out of it until my
hand was forced by the axis of evil that was the cabal of
Fucktkowski admirers. The thought of people spending their day
admiring him was enough to make The Old Man cough up a good
one, in whatever compartment was keeping him cozy in the
afterlife. Laughing his ass off at the effect a few negative words had
on me. Waylaying me in a way only I usually could. On the couch
doing nothing. Jerking off incessantly. Dreaming about big dollar
bets and bigger rocks of crack. Drinking too much. Watching too
much T.V. Smoking more pot than usual. Not writing.
"C'mon Kid, you going to let a bunch of pansy asses knock you
off your game? Remember, it was me who taught you how to write
by reading mine. That it was me, and only me that could dangle
the mantle. You had the balls to grab it Kid, or believe you did,
which is the same thing. Don't forget what you're dealing with.
What my mentor whispered to me on his death bed. Remember?"
The human condition is often debated, or used as a term to
describe the human condition. In my quest to find my own apt
description I can do no better than what Fante said. No one can.
This jarring commentary came at precisely the right time. As it
always has, provided I'm willing to listen to it. Whichever dead guy
it comes from. And yes, I do talk to dead people, as I've alluded to
already. Take my grandfather for instance. He is buried not far
from The Rehab By The Beach. I was a pallbearer. Not yet ready
for death. Not an unexpected one. Not his.
The day we buried my dad's dad was windy. My plans to go a
concert that weekend had changed abruptly when the phone rang
at work. Work then was at the church as the night receptionist.
Shortly into my shift my mother was on the line crying.
"Grandpa esta muerto" My grandpa was dead.
Why on earth was I letting a cult of cretins keep me from writing,
seeds of self-doubt wildly sprouting?
Why, with all this death becoming a regular part of my life, the
way I knew it would, would I waste my precious remaining hours
on this planet playing in the shit-filled sandbox, that was the
Fucktkowsi forum?
I had originally posted my poem "Jackpot" on their site at the
behest of D.
"Post your shit everywhere, and be a smart-ass"
The smart-ass role was one that suited me just fine. Taking time
away from the writing to play promoter was a problem. It
reminded me too much of what I used to be when I showed up to
The Rehab By The Beach on the 4th visit. Something lower than a
crack smoking psychopath. An agent.
But that's how I found The Bench. And Bukowski.
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