Saturday, December 31, 2005

Jack London Hair

If you ever happen to find yourself in East Oakland, somewhere around Fruitvale and 25th, past the witching hour, tread lightly. In the shadows of chrome automotive accessories, questionable corners and fog-doused coniferous spires, beasts lurk. I know because I've seen them. Elevated on the splendor of old friends, older scenery and a hoodie winter I was slo-mo pogoing around the yard, dodging in and out of conversations and spraying out my hellos and hugs. No iced breath, only rising smoke. No vampire crowds, just the best of familiarity and strange friendlies. No sore sights on the sight see'rs. Years ago I wouldn't have cared, I probably would have hated it, but now the couple of wrinkled, almost-forty-something reformed punks provided an odd inspiration.

Dan kept asking me if I thought pissing in the backyard was a safe idea. I'd nod, blab and swig, and he'd keep stalling. The minutes kept tugging. Well on my way to being sufficiently greased up and not wanting to deal with the inevitability of the inside single bathroom line, I finally offered to accompany him. We swayed up through the grass and cracked steps towards the fence, talking about slow progress, old times and not much at all. It felt better than most conversations I'd had over the past month.

Earlier in the day I had heard the weatherman on the news talking about something called the "Pineapple Express". I thought of roller coasters. Hours later, bathing in its warm, late night Pacific manifestation I mimicked it, polluting the lawn's fresh water supply. Then we saw it. A crouched car sized mess of fur and red eyes. A ghost in the residential brush. Teeth gleaming in the strobed moonlight. Far below our landscaped retreat someone on the patio mentioned a half wolf. Gasp. This was no ordinary pet: Staring me down, it's big nosed, loud mouthed back yard-soiling prey, I realized it was a rabid piss guardian, capable of unspeakable horrors. Its paw/hoof twitched. A branch cracked, followed by a snarl. Could it smell my partial jewishness? Cautiously, I raised my zipper, making sure each bracket locked quietly without any turntable impressionism. Then I dubbed the Alaskan halfie "Dick Fang" and went back to the party, laughing with Dan. I've always liked Huskies.


Blogger I diverge said...

I laughed really loud when I read this and I was alone so that made me laugh harder. Also the your bike through the car wash comment.

1:49 PM  
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