Because it has sex and drugs and travel, @ellowrites it's up your alley:
1984, summer. Ronald Reagan is in the White House; some strange things are on the radio. I’m walking around a bookstore looking for something to read on a long flight.
What’s that thing over there in red?? Mein Kampf – Hitler’s Book. That could be entertaining, like 500 pages for a 6 hour flight.
Purely out of curiosity. It’s ’84, there’s so much I don’t know yet. Don’t know the true condition of my birth parents, still think I’m going to Southeastern Massachusetts University for political reasons but hanging in the Drama Club the whole time, have not chosen Political Science as a major yet, know nothing about addiction or Bi-Polar, although I have had a number of adventures, my life should go along a boring plan.
I’m headed to California. One of my 10,000 cousins lives in a place called Big Bear. She’s a lesbian, lives with her lover, our plan is to see as much as we can of the LA Olympics. “Man plans, God laughs” in the words of Chuck D. I never knew that you could hear the laughter audibly – like not a hallucination, but really hear it.
So Mein Kampf it will be. Hitler ought to be entertaining enough for a 6 hour flight. Now, I can look back at the math. This is something I have always done in sobriety. Me reading that book then was like reading a book about happenings in 1976 now. Of course at that age, I could never put those pieces together. It’s also a weird time because at 17, I’ve only been drinking and using for 7 years while on the planet for 17. Those numbers are about to flip around – and will again God willing in early 2018.
So me, 2 eighteen year old buddies, and a 20 year old are headed to California – without chaperones. The plan is to hang with my cousin and drive to LA ever day to be part of what we can find. Just 4 American kids doing what American kids do the summer between high school and college.
On the flight out, I get into a conversation with the young lady next to me who also happens to be interested in theater. We talk about shows we have done and the shows we will never do. I think Mein Kampf got to page 5 or maybe 6 at best.
The plane lands and my cousin picks us up. The ride from the airport up the mountain is 2 hours. Ok, this 4 hours back and forth is not going to work for her on a daily basis. The decision is made that we will rent her a car and we will borrow her truck. 4 American kids roaming around California in a truck with no chaperones – just what American kids do.
Did I mention how far Big Bear is up in the mountains?? Like the road up the mountain takes 35 minutes and at night it is cold. One guy is going to do all the driving and another buddy likes to pretend he’s in charge so two of us are going to be in the back of the track with a tarp most of the time. Well, it is better than nothing.
The first morning, I am sleeping in the dining room which has a sliding glass door leading to the outside. No yard or anything, just the mountain outside. I awake and feel like someone is watching me. It is not a someone, it is a something. A large coyote has parked itself outside the glass door and is just there staring. The only thing between us is the glass door. I’m fearless in the water with animals; not so much with Mr. Coyote. He must have found me boring because after the staring contest, he left silently. The silence was pretty impressive.
That day, we went to Big Bear Lake. Once again, we’re all Ocean going types. I spent my youth jumping off the escape bridge in Westport, MA and the train bridge above the Sakonnet in Tiverton, RI. What is the big deal about some California lake??
The big deal is that the lake is cold. Like colder than the Ocean in November or March cold. I have never been so cold in the water. My trip off the boat was short and sweet. The other thing you notice about this part of California in ‘84 is that everybody sells beer and wine. Post offices, lawyer’s offices, real estate firms, gas stations, florists – they all sell beer and wine.
That is important because at this point in our lives, we all drink like fish. I tend to like the harder stuff, already, but for my size – I was soccer player thin back then, I could hold my own. Our plan was the same here as it was at home. Send the 20 year old in. If he gets carded, I go out and play Ambassador offering a customer cash to buy for us. One of the two strategies always scored.
We have decided that driving back and forth off the mountain, and through East LA – the 1984 East LA, was a pain in the ass. My cousin agrees to let us take the truck for short trips off the mountain. Notice I said “short trips”.
Our first short trip is to Anaheim. This is as close as we got to the Olympics, we think. One morning outside of our hotel, we heard cheering and yelling. We were told that it was the women’s marathon. Now, I’m not so sure that the women’s marathon even went through there. However, it is as close as we would get.
There was a Denny’s next to our hotel. That’s a good thing since our body clocks never really reset the entire trip. At 5 am Cali time, we’re hungry and slightly hungover every morning. I figured I would read the book in Anaheim. I’m still on page 6.
Yeah, we did all of Disney over 2 days. Turns out waiting in line was the Disney experience back then as well. There was this one outdoor eating palladium where the same band played the same 8 songs all day. We saw seven of the performances thanks to the 20 year old. He was such a regular that they gave him some Disney shades.
Our next short trip is down to San Diego. Like I said, short trip. We spend the day on the beach. I planned to read the book. I spent the day striking out with Cali women but it was worth the attempt. That night, we went to this place called Knoxberry Farm. It was an all ages outdoor dance party. Just a zoo of humanity, but not easy to score in if you’re from out of town and we must have been easy to spot.
That night, we figured we had two weeks of Olympics left so there was still time for short trips. We were already in San Diego already. What made better sense than a trip to Tijuana??
4 American teens are going to drive to the border and walk into Mexico unsupervised. I long for the old days when you could travel to Canada, Mexico, and parts of the Caribbean without a passport. This is just one of our short trips. The book stays in the trunk.
I had been to Tijuana before – when I was 5. My family lived in California one summer – something to do with dad and the weapons. We did all the California stuff including the trip across the border. All I remember was in Mexico, little kids would always run up to you with stuff to sell on the streets. Usually rings or necklaces, looked homemade. Little kids too – I was 5 and the kids could not be much older.
The people who will run up to 17 year old me are going to be a lot different. Mostly older women and they’re not offering jewelry. 4 American teens wondering around TJ, can we say “targets”??
We were coming around this dusty alley and outside there was a carnival barker type. He kept saying “free look, free look”. I think that’s the only English he knew. He also promised us front row seats, in Espanol. Good thing – we were the only people in the place.
At 17, I had never been in a real strip club before. During the go-go 90’s, they would be places to cut deals, make money, and manage girls. Yes, I had a dating strippers period. Thank god it didn’t last long. I had seen strip clubs in movies and this looked like nothing Hollywood ever prepared me for. We had a couple of drinks and left.
As we left, one of my buddies got strangely quiet. This lasted a few blocks and finally we started asking him “What’s up??”
“She grabbed me.”
“The old mamacita at the door?? She made a play for your wallet??”
“Yes, the old bitch at the door but it wasn’t my wallet she grabbed.” Hand action from a 40-something year old Mexican hooker – who can beat that??
This like much of the rest of the trip would be a foreshadowing. My parents later in life would have no idea how much time my car spent empty at airports and train stations while I was out chasing the witch. Doing Ayahuasca, watching soccer next to armed Federales, and seeking enlightment in Mexico, chasing the witch in crack fueled sessions in the Village inside of bars I couldn’t find in the daylight.
There used to be a crack dealer who hung out at the old version of Gonzalez y Gonzalez. Yeah, he was gay but he had the best crack. I don’t care who your boyfriend is if you sell the best crack. His product was so good, if I hadn’t made any of my own, I would drive into the city on Thursday, score, and head back to Newport the same day.
In Newport, there used to be this place called On The Rocks. It was underneath the old Riverbelle or the Station or whatever that place is now. $20 jack and cokes?? Sure. However, you could do rails on the bar and every young lady in the place was not only model quality but runway model quality. Imagine a thick line of the Village’s finest on the bar, the Gigi Hadid prequel sitting next to me is seat dancing and throwing her hair around while rolling up a c-note, the D-jay hits California Love. Are you kidding me?? Movies don’t look this good.
The seeds to travel and find naked women at the same time mixed with some drug experience were sown right there in Tijuana. Hell, I loved the place so much, I went back and got arrested once. You can tell me how badass you are in the local County lockup. Let’s see you do it in a foreign nation where you speak the language on a kindergarten level.
The other thing this part of the trip foreshadowed was an incident from 2012. Yes, if you’ve been my facebook friend for a while you know this story. However, some of you are new.
In Utica, I always try to go running between 5 and 6 am if the schedule allows. People scoff, but at that hour, Utica especially in the downtown takes on a beauty I have not experienced in many other places. Backed when I lived in Newport, things were different.
In Newport, I would run late at night. Why?? Newport bars close at 1, then there is a great milling out in the streets before the after-hours party. Lots of things happen during the milling. Jimmy Choo high heels and cobblestones don’t mix. Wardrobe malfunctions are a constant theme. Closing time is genius in the great city of Newport.
Back in the summer of 2012, I hadn’t been diagnosed as Bi-Polar yet so I hadn’t started taking Invega now and again with its water retention. I was coming up on 10 years of sobriety that Fall and my body while not in soccer or Army shape, was something I finally understood again after sobriety. I can feel that understanding with my Bi-Polar body happening this Spring.
I’ve made the turn and headed home when this brunette and blonde pair step in my path. The brunette who is wicked skanky hot has a pitch to offer. “See our friends over there” as she points to two friends across the street at two other attractive females.
“Well see, we’re having a contest. Whichever team can grab the most cocks wins. We were wondering if we could grab yours.”
I’ve never understood why women find me attractive. Still don’t. Outside of voice, eyes, hair and legs, I don’t see it. Not good looking, above average for about to turn 49 but not really athletic looking in like forever. Yeah, I can run a long way and bench more than most guys my age but you can’t tell that in clothes. I’m also not exactly tall. However, the women, one or some, always show up. Since I’m also an attention whore, I just accept whatever it is and am grateful for it.
Still doesn’t explain the two hotties in front of me one of which wants to add my penis to some scorecard she’s working on. I figure it has to be some sort of joke with a punchline. However, as hot as they are, it can’t really hurt to find out one way or another.
“Sure, you can add me” I said waiting for whatever happened next.
What happened next was she reached down my pants and grabbed my junk. While she did this, the little blonde companion threw her arms up in the air screaming “whoooooooo” in her best cheerleader mode. The blonde’s celebrating was actually the most somewhat disturbing part of the whole thing. Then they said thanks and moved on. I’m still puzzled by the episode. I also wonder what number I was.
In any event, we left Tijuana that day. Till on page 6. Still with 10 days of Olympics left. Still hadn’t really seen anything. So we drove back to Big Bear Lake trying to plan the next episode.
I don’t know who thought of it or why we thought of it but the next episode was Vegas. My cousin knew we were going to Vegas and didn’t mind we were taking her truck on a 16 hour jaunt or whatever it was each way.
I figured I would read on the way. No reading got done. Vegas is a long ass drive due to the heat. Half in the bed of the truck – lips can actually get sunburnt. Half inside the truck searching for radio stations.
We didn’t know any better so we stayed at looked like the best hotel we could find. The Las Vegas Hilton. Ok, 4 American teens, in Vegas. What a zoo. I probably would have gotten in more trouble but the book came to my rescue.
The pool at the Hilton is on like the 19th floor. We were staying on the 27th. First day there, I figured I would get some reading done by the pool. Grabbed my towel and the book. Headed up to the pool, found a chair and just kind of spread out. I might have made it to page 11. “That looks interesting, what is it??”
“You – in the chair, what are you reading??”
Brunette – very girl next doorish. Almost pre-librarian hot since she’s around 17 like I am. I tell her it’s Hitler’s book. She explains that she’s German. She also runs a line about daddy being an oil baron or something and she’s staying in Vegas with a friend. They’re like from Texas or Oklahoma but not really southern. Private schools most of my life means I have heard a number of “my daddy is the king of upper Scotland” stories from young women of all stripes.
We talk for hours and she asks me to drop by later. My friends have taken to gambling and checking out the nightlife. So I can play Romeo.
I get to her room around 8 like she said and the friend is there. Another very girl next doorish brunette except for her rack. In the language of the times, “Playboy tits.” This is a pleasant surprise. They tell me they will both be ready in a few minutes and then we’ll head out on the strip to see what there is to see. Believe it or not, both the Benedictines and the Jesuits had spent time making sure a young man was ready for this moment. Well, the moment I thought I was going to have.
I heard the shower run, but just once. Next thing I knew, two dripping young ladies, one with a Playboy rack, were standing in front of me in towels. This is a common story I have run into from time to time: 2 girls make a pact to have a threesome and I all I have to do is be there. Right guy, right place, right time. Must be random chance because it can’t be anything I ever did. Don’t know why I ever get picked for this mission, just happy that it happens.
There were two odd things in this picture. The first was they were Duran Duran fans. Didn’t know those existed in Oklahoma or Texas or wherever. Before we got started, one of them flips in a cassette and the Reflex starts playing. Odd choice but it worked.
The second was that both beds in the room were covered in silver dollars. They wanted the silver dollars to stay on the bed while all 3 of us rolled around. Must be some symbolism I’m missing.
Thankfully, it wasn’t my first time for that so I had a clue. My first time?? April, 1982. On my birthday, we flew to Florida. Dad had one of those mixed vacation, stop by the lab and test the weapon things. We did those a lot. A remember the day really clearly because it snowed.
We get to Florida and I find out these kids from New York are staying in our hotel for some competition or another. Little 15 year old me has been chatting up this 15 year old New York girl for two days and finally decides to make his move. We end up hanging out all night.
What I don’t know is I’m way past curfew so dad is roaming the hotel looking for me. I’m walking through the courtyard and he spots me. I’m very traditional hand in hand with this young lady, her friend is next to us, no chaperones around. Dad is 8 feet behind me but he can see me working so I figure I’m in. When does that thought ever work??
The friend walking with us suddenly pipes up with, “Hey, did you fuck him yet?? If not, I want to.”
The look I got from dad, did I mention he’s Portuguese, was priceless. At only 15, this was already a point of contention between us. He was a family man, I worshipped womanizers. Pete Rose, Billy Martin, Paul Hornung, whoever was playing James Bond at the time – those were my guys. Partying womanizers. Until I found sobriety, women were playthings that were put on the planet for my amusement. God, did I let a number of quality women slip through my fingers because of that.
So I excused myself from the young ladies for a couple of moments. Talked to dad – C’mon, you don’t really think we’re all going to get naked, do you?? Pleaded for just one more hour. He gave it to me. Never asked what happened which was a blessing. If he had asked, I would have had to lie and that feeling would have sucked.
Back in ’84 Vegas, we had breakfast together and then they took off with dad and his oil billions or whatever. I was feeling pretty cocky so I went out seeking more entertainment. I won’t know I’m Bi-Polar for another 28 years so at this point I have never even heard the word Hypersexual.
Working at the front desk is this Olivia Newton-John’s younger cousin lookalike. It’s 1984, what do you want from me?? Based on yesterday’s success, I figured I would chat her up.
Easy way to learn about a place is to play stupid with the staff. We got to talking. Again, why people let me in on things are take me behind closed doors has always mystified me. I’m just grateful. She asked if I wanted to see something in the hotel most people don’t get to.
I said, “Sure”. Again, what’s the worst that could happen??
She grabbed a special key and we took the elevator to the top floor. I guess the legend is that Elvis used to rent out the whole top floor to himself. He had only died 7 years earlier. Think about that for a moment – when I’m traipsing around the “Elvis Museum” at the Hilton, I’m closer in time to his death then we are right now to 9/11 by 7 years. Just crazy.
I also can’t believe he only got to live to 42 years old and I’m still here, hot mess that I am, at almost 49. I think that every time someone famous dies. How come I get to take all the chances and cheat death while really talented people who make people happy get taken away?? In its own sick, twisted methodology, it’s really not fair. I will say it until I am called off the planet: I’m playing with house money.
I cannot say it was an intimate moment. Yes, she was beautiful and these were clothes worn by Elvis. It was more of a pinch yourself moment. Ride the blimp, first night you spend “living” in Astor’s Beechwood, sailing on an America’s Cup yacht, first time you do coke at Bailey’s Beach, going to a certain club at Disney, meeting the President at a DLC conference, just moments when I can’t figure out why I’m deserving.
She had to get back to my desk and I hooked back up with my crew. This would be our last night in Vegas and they wanted to throw a bash. Back in those days, enough alcohol plus enough coke makes me the Town Crier.
So I set out on my mission. “There’s a party in room 2742.”
It got so bad that my friends were in the elevator. Their fellow passengers asked them to go to a party. “Where is it??” they asked fearing a competitive party elsewhere in the building.
“2742” came the answer.
“Hey wait a minute, that’s our room”. Needless to say, I don’t remember the party, who went, who showed up, when it got broken up or what happened. Nothing at all. Something about shaving cream on a mirror was all I heard the next day.
I slept all the way back to Big Bear. I slept all the way to the airport. We were taking an overnight flight. I figure I’d sleep on that too.
15 minutes after takeoff, we hit lightning and storms. I can’t sleep now. What to do, what to do?? Oh yeah, the book. For 6 hours, I read the book.
Hitler is such a friggen victim. Oh My God. This one wronged me, dad’s job wasn’t good enough. Get over it son. It should be noted in 1984 I do not know that the name Oliveira indicates Jewish ancestry yet.
I’m reading and I realize his vocal skill is not about smooth but rather about force and believing that he believes it. That’s really not me. I suggest reading the book because it will prevent the next Hitler from happening but he’s really not that complicated – just sick.
This is twisted, but if you want to read a Nazi who sounds like me, read the Goebbels’ Diaries. We have some of the same mindsets especially about problem solving. I had no idea that I had developed that way. I guess you end up reading books when the time is right.