Posts Tagged ‘Monte Carlo’

Wasn’t I just here
Dragging the hose to the top of this hill
When Mom wasn’t looking, on the phone
Eroding the soil to catch it
At the bottom with a friend, shovels, and a dam
Before it floods my parent’s bedroom?
Wasn’t I just here, throwing a party
Snapped sprinkler heads and underage drinking?
Wasn’t I just here planting this sapling
That towers above me – does she remember
Me saving her from my chores of cleanup?
Wasn’t I just here, parking the Monte Carlo
One tire up on the curb
And staggering into the house on drugs?
Wasn’t I just on my way to the Nickels
To fuck around with high school experiments:
How much Jim Beam can I drink
Before I drown or forget whose breasts I am holding?
Wasn’t I just around the corner
Cursing up a storm just to roll those words?
Wasn’t I drinking Cisco just the other night
And shooting pool with the MH Posse?
I thought I was just down at Nobes
Throwing stolen pallets off the cliff
And leaping through the fire with my Mickeys.
Could have sworn I was just at Nati’s
While my parents told our favorite waitress
That they were so proud of Kyle and I.
Wasn’t I the one who broke Mom’s last wind chime,
And threw my Dad against the breezeway wall
When he tried to stop me from running away again?
Didn’t I just lie to Dad about
Doing all my chores but I didn’t coil the hose?
Wasn’t that just me and Gary
Doing stupid hazardous tricks of that stolen launch ramp?
Wasn’t that me the other day
Looking down from the top of the pine tree
At my hysterical mother telling me to come down
And powerless to do anything about it?
Didn’t I just steal my first Penthouse
From the neighbor’s garage
And see Venus, Venus, Venus
In three color pictorals?
Don’t I get my $5 allowance now, Dad?
I want to go buy Lemonheads at Delta Drug.
Didn’t I just have those army men
And Matchbox Cars
That Dad keeps digging out of the backyard?
I swear that I just read the pain
In Jared’s poetry and thought that I could do that.
Wasn’t I just hammering my drum set
In the garage to “We Built This City”?
Where are Samwise and Frodo;
They were around
Just a second ago.
And I thought I saw Grandma and Grandpa
Last weekend for miniature golf;
How come Grandpa always won?
Wasn’t I just here with Karen, with Laura,
With Dawn, with someone else?
Wasn’t I just here?

Green Monte Carlo

Posted: October 16, 1997 in Writing
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I used to own a 1973 olive green Monte Carlo. It served my family quite well until I really learned how to drive; it was Shelby Brown who convinced me to see how high I could launch it above the ground one lifeless night in San Diego. Shelby Brown has a penchant for getting me into trouble: my parents frowned on him for “borrowing” this same car without my permission from a party and returning it an hour later with a half-tank less gas and the excuse that he was jump-starting his car down the street. This night, though, I remember him looking over at me with a slightly surprised expression as the engine was roaring at 5500 rpms since the wheels were no longer in contact with the ground. As I lifted my foot from the gas pedal, and the engine noise died to a faraway murmur, Shelby had time to say “Gee Mike, we’re really high.”
The rooftops of cars were passing below the tires of that green Monte Carlo as we flew down Dickens Street.
My friends Chris McGee, Brett Hathaway, and Matt Graham were in the back seat staring at the San Diego Bay’s skyline through the windshield. Dickens Street is in a moderately well-to-do part of Point Loma, and the views from those houses were magnificent. The intersection that had enabled us to defy gravity for a few precious seconds was at the top of a hill that had a sudden gradient change from steep to steeper in the middle, and ended one short block down in a T intersection which crossed Dickens, not continued it. What made me acquiesce to Shelby’s request to power my poor seventeen year old Monte Carlo down this street at 43 miles per hour is, to this day, beyond me.
The five of us had thought to go to one of a few parties we knew of, but nothing was happening. The Monte Carlo was a very unique car; only Chevrolet in the early part of the 70’s would have been able to sell my father on that color, and it was one of the favorite rides to and from parties. Plus, the large bumpers and the couple of dents put in it by my parents on ill-placed light poles and tight parking spaces were adequate to cover up any small damage we would do to the bodywork while driving down alleys spinning trash cans with our momentum. Most of the purpose of taking the Monte Carlo was the diversions that we would find on the way to and from parties. Dickens Street bent the steel frame of my car, almost sent the five of us over a cliff into the roof of a Vons forty or fifty feet below, and was the most talked about event of the next three weeks among my friends. Nobody ever convinced me to do it again, though.
The top of the street had a huge dip and bump in it; it was this which propelled the car into the air in the first place. The unique design of the street, getting steeper halfway down, gave us even more hang time once we got there. The 1973 Monte Carlo was a heavy car, even for those days of the V-8 engine and the swivel bucket seats; when we came down, we landed partially on the front bumper. The impact of the automobile jarred the engine in its motor mounts, and it stalled. Heading towards a sturdy white fence with three reflective red diamonds on it that guards a large cliff is no time to lose your power brakes or your power steering. I hauled with all my might on that steering wheel, driving around a parked car on the wrong side of the street to its left, over a curb, some shrubs and a lawn, through three galvanized trash cans and back on to the street. As the car rolled down yet another hill, but at a lesser speed, I shakily put the car in neutral and started the engine. We drove on in silence, down and around to the parking lot of that Vons.
When we got to the supermarket, I stopped the car where we could all see the white fence. I opened my door and climbed out. I let the occupants of the back seat get out and walk around. Everyone had the look you have after getting off of the Viper rollercoaster at Magic Mountain or after seeing a movie like “Die Hard”. Shelby, though, was having trouble getting out of the passenger’s side. I walked around the car, checked to see that the door wasn’t locked and hauled on the handle really hard. It finally swung open with an awful squeal, and Shelby got out. Matt pointed to the roof of the car, where there was an almost unnoticeable crease in the paint: the car had compressed a little in the thin material of the roof. That meant that the frame had bent on my Monte Carlo – it was why the door on Shelby’s side didn’t fit quite as precisely as it was designed to fit anymore.
I drove everyone home after that; nothing could top that incident off, so we just talked about it as everyone was delivered in the remarkably durable green Monte Carlo. The next day I told my Dad that I had hit a dip a little too hard on Ebers Street, famous in Point Loma for its gaping, canyon sized dips. A few months later, the mechanic who was changing my tires for me pulled me aside and asked me what I did to my car. It was up on the lift, and he pointed out that the A-frame which holds the right side tire on the axle was bent and twisted just a bit. I swore him to secrecy and explained the “Dickens Street Leap” as we had dubbed it, and he looked at me as if I was crazy.
Maybe I was crazy back in high school, but Dad and I sold that Monte Carlo this time last year, and it was only after we had sold it that I admitted to him what I really did to it to make the door squeak so horribly. And I never admitted to him that Shelby Brown was in the passenger seat.

Big Olaf

Posted: April 23, 1995 in Poetry
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Once, while sitting
On a tide-surrounded
Piece of Sunset Cliffs,
I smelled boyhood,
A summer scent:
Warm sand, blue cool ocean,
Seaweed, shells, swells, surf wax;
Coconut tanning oil
SPF 15.
The silence of waves before they break,
Bodyboard rash and sunburns,
The sharp asphault places in the parking lots,
Kicking sand on the backs of your calves
When wearing flip flops.
Bonfires and beer drinking,
Big Olaf’s waffle cones;
Smoke and fireworks and Frisbees,
Barbeques, volleyball leather, and Cokes.
The wet, towel-covered vinyl seats
In the Monte Carlo,
All in one accurate slap
Of a wave and the wind
Gracing my face.

I
say hey! whoo-hah! I move I groove I bump;
got the MH posse in the house to make you jump up
and move…you dance and clap your hands
Chris tell it like it is and be a good man.

II
I don’t get in your face to twist and shout now.
like Chuck D sez, the brothers gonna work it out.
be kind to yourself and the people you meet,
don’t stand on the wall dance on your own two feet.

III
of course MZ puts the whizz in your cheese
I put my butt in your face and the wind in the trees.
Godzilla’s in the place and he’s doing the stomp
so ladies let me see you shake your rumps.
I spray upon the mike ‘cause Alex got my back up.
waxin’ and milkin’? I’ll duck and he’ll smack ya.
my feet swing freely on the plane of funk,
I got a green Monte Carlo and there’s room in the trunk.
it’s all about being true to you and me,
we’re not Naughty by Nature, this ain’t OPP.
give it up, ya pup, in front on the side
while my drummer Gino breaks out on the ride.
funky bass supplied inside by Mike Neuman;
King Ghidra’s horns for ya good men.
Tear the roof off the sucker with the MZ sound
for your health and your wealth I’m gonna break it down.

IV
I slap the rap to your cap ‘cause it’s finger lickin’.
I got more spice than the Colonel’s chicken.
good cheer and a beer makes me have no fear
like a baby being born I’m fresh and we’re out of here!