We’d wondered about the ghost in the neighborhood for a really long time. Me and my boyfriend had, I just told you about it. Then last night with no warning my boyfriend mentioned that he’d seen him at the Food Pit, up close, in person, a few days before, without telling me.
The Food Pit is the real-life name of the gas station/convenience store in our neighborhood. I guess it’s like the Peach Pit in the original 90210, except a bit more honest. They didn’t serve or sell the stones of fruit at the Peach Pit. The Food Pit sells “food,” and it is a bit of a hole.
I have had a craving for grape bubblegum so fierce I might just go pee on a plastic stick just to prove what I already know: I’m not pregnant. But I’m so psyched out over wanting grape gum I’ve even got him eating like there’s no tomorrow–he’s hysterically pregnant now. Life is cray-cray up in here. And it’s harder to find grape bubblegum than one would think, just to twist the knife.
We were both so happy about the grape gum (and the Lifesavers that the boyfriend got, a really nasty kind that I haven’t learned to get a taste for yet–I’m like a bacterium when it comes to sweets. I can learn to eat about any kind there is if it’s the only thing around, but I do have my preferences), that he forgot to tell me about the Ghost!
The Ghost was standing in front of him in line at the Food Pit. The Ghost is in his mid-forties. There are two wireless speakers attached to the handlebars of his bicycle. And he isn’t a ghost. He is a man, made of meat and bones and skin, not ectoplasm and fear and regret and longing.
“I think he’s a connect,” my boyfriend said.
And it all clicked! Of course. The music, the bike, the slow roll, the night, the reason we’re fascinated with him, the everything. He’s the ice cream man.
He has a reason to be out. He’s just going for a ride. Anyone can stop to talk to him. And they can hear him coming, so they get their money together and then come out of their houses. And the cops don’t have any reason to stop this guy. He’s just sharing the joy of music with the neighborhood. He probably isn’t a big time guy. Maybe he’s just making deliveries for the club, I don’t know.
I have no proof this is what’s up. I don’t know his life. But suspected small fish rolling through the neighborhood is far less interesting than undead spirit riding a ghost trick bike across the earth. I’m still considering this mystery solved.
So it’s been a minute since I’ve posted a nostalgia thingamajigger. I used to watch Powerhouse on Channel 9 (our local PBS affiliate) in the afternoons in the early 1980s, along with 3-2-1 Contact, but I can’t remember the plot, characters, setting, or anything else. The song kind of haunts me a little. But that’s about it.
Let’s watch the beginning!
So someone else is dead. Her name was Amy Winehouse. She was a famous person. She sang songs and served as a punchline and an object of fascination for a long time for a lot of people. I’m sure she’ll continue to be a punchline even though she’s dead now. A lot of people have compassion for her because they believed she was talented, and some have no compassion because she liked drugs and didn’t stop using them despite the overwhelming evidence that drugs were problematic for her lifestyle.
Lots of people like drugs and don’t stop using them despite lifestyle problems. I did tell you my friend Skeptic died last year, I told you about it often, but did I tell you how he died? The fire, but exactly how? I’ll tell you after the jump. It’s gnarly.
I can handle it.
I read something I wrote for you the other day. It all came bubbling up inside. Sweet and salty both.
I don’t know where you are now. The last time I talked to you was three years ago. The last time before then was four years prior. I suppose I’m due for an empty call soon from the stranger you are now. Full of dodging and hindsight and promises. I’ll believe you when I see some action.
Oh, but once I loved you, sun moon stars. I loved you so much. I’d have done anything for you. And I did, I did do anything for you. Things I’m not proud of. Things I hate telling people I did. I remember going places with you–physically and emotionally–that made me feel so small and so weak. I remember feeling so deserted, and like you’d deserted yourself. God, like you were a hollow man. Like there was nothing left. Just a husk. If I grabbed you hard enough you’d crumple. But feeling like if I waited long enough, maybe you’d pour yourself back in there, inside your own skin and it’d be okay again.
I cannot get enough of this song right now. Jesus, it is so catchy.
Plus the tracking is a little off, so it’s kinda like being on hallucinogens! At least, that’s how it was for me sometimes. People would talk or things would happen faster than the speed of sound. It would take a little bit for the sound to hit my ears. I’m such a bad influence. I still make drugs sound good, even though I repeatedly say that I don’t use them because my life on drugs was like an old helium balloon left in the corner, all wilted and sad, with no lift, even though that’s what balloons are made for, and the skin was all flaccid and tacky, so even touching it made marks that wouldn’t go away, and it just kept getting smaller and smaller and smaller by the hour, and it had a leash tying it to a fixed point and it could not escape its hold.
Mr. Peacock, Mr. Peacock, how’d we ever do without you?
You gotta admit: Mr. Peacock is really fucking groovy. And I love his showgirls.
I bit my cheek today while feeding on a cracker.
I learned it by watching you!
Oh, but I can’t leave you hanging.
I’ve been romanticizing my relationship with cigarettes lately, despite the many friends who have knocked on that door and found that yes, they still make your chest hurt, breath smell, give you headaches both when you are with one and when you are without, and now make you even poorer. And I should be suspicious that most people currently in a relationship with cigarettes want to break up with them. I should also be suspicious that I still want them although it’s been ten years since I’ve had even a puff, and that it took six years to stop thinking about them every single day. That’s a powerful drug.
Really, everything about not smoking is great. I don’t get bronchitis twice a year. I don’t have a stinky car. I can go up the stairs without getting winded. I can exercise. I don’t get chest x-rays. Everything about not smoking is great! Except you don’t get to have a cigarette. I know if I bum a smoke I might as well go buy a carton.