Tuesday, June 16, 2009

(part 169) THE BLACKOUT

There may be some who read my last post thinking I didn't have any integrity left to lose. In other words, my past history and behavior had already sunk to such a low that it ruled out any integrity or honor being left to me.

I can understand this, if some in fact feel this way, but in defense of what I wrote I would have to say that the act of stealing, for me, signaled a new low.

In 1975, I had already been written off by most, as a lost cause, but in my mind there was still something worthwhile buried inside me.

But as I began to see myself engage in breaking and entering, and later acts of burglary, I knew that something had changed, and that these episodes were the beginning of an ongoing downward spiral into more seriously flawed actions yet to come.

The cumulative effect of my steady demise, was further illustrated when I showed up at a bar on Crescent Heights Blvd., just below Sunset Blvd., which was, for the most part, frequented by those who wished to be associated with professional criminals.

I'd gone there alone, and was drinking and went into a blackout. I was informed later, that I'd climbed onto the bar and started kicking glasses, while ranting and raving about something.

Someone dragged me off the bar and out into the back parking lot and began beating my head against the pavement while holding me by my hair.

Since I was in a blackout and didn't even know I was there, the repeated blows to the back of my head only served to snap me back into conscious awareness of what was going on. As the last couple of thumps penetrated into my brain, the guy doing this decided he was through with me, I suppose.

I was lying on my back, spread eagle, in the parking lot when he climbed off my chest and began walking back toward the bar. I immediately jumped to my feet and yelled at him, "Hey! Where ya going asshole?"

Completely caught off guard by this sudden turn of events, he spun around and saw the demented grin on my face. "We ain't done here yet, shit head." I said, as I started walking toward him; he clearly looked alarmed.

He reached in his pocket for a large Buck Knife and quickly opened it exposing the blade. There he was, knife in hand, and there was I watching the fear in his eyes and his face.

"What the fuck are you gonna do with that knife asshole?" I demanded. "It's over man," he said back to me, "let it go, it's over." "Over?" I said, "It ain't over, now it's my turn."

I started toward him, and he pushed the knife toward my chest. I turned slightly, to avoid the blade, and felt it cut into my upper left bicep, opening a two inch gash in my flesh.

I stopped momentarily, looking at the river of blood streaming from my arm, and then back at him. He was clearly shaken by what had happened, and the amount of blood I was losing.

If anything, the sight of my own bleeding arm caused me to become even more enraged, and something just snapped inside my head.

His eyes had that "I don't want to be here look" in them as I studied his face and now trembling hand holding the knife. In a nanosecond I thought about my life and how fucked everything was.

"Fuck me!" I said to myself, "who gives a shit," and with that I went after him yelling "I'm gonna kill you man. Now I'm gonna shove that fucking knife up your ass."

I lunged at him, and he gave in to his own fear yelling, "You're fucking crazy man, you are full on fucking nuts." I watched as he turned away and ran off into the night.

I stood there alone in the parking lot yelling after him, "Come back you chicken shit, come back so I can stick that fucking knife up you're ass, you prick."

A complete sense of exhilaration arose in me as a result of my own madness, similar to what I'd experienced on the tower when I'd reached the top; a sense of victory.

I stood there for what seemed like a long time, raging at the darkness and the empty space around me. Finally I gave it up, and turned my attention back to my arm; it continued to bleed profusely.

I didn't feel I'd have any luck getting help from anyone in the bar, so I opted to get myself to the house of the woman who'd bought the stolen jewelry from me. She was familiar with the bar and it's patrons. In a few minutes, I was pounding on her door, and shortly it opened.

I pushed my way inside. "Oh my God, Bobby," she exclaimed, "What happened to you, what is all this blood from?" "Some asshole stabbed me with a knife at that fucking gangster bar on Crescent Heights," I said, "I need to clean up."

As I stood there bleeding inside the door, she looked down at the floor and saw blood all over her rug. "Oh my carpet," she yelled, "you're bleeding all over my new carpet!" She tried to push me back outside, and I exploded.

"Fuck your goddamn carpet," I yelled, and slugged her in the face. Pushing my way past her, I headed for the bathroom without a word, and washed my arm and wrapped it in a towel. I stared at my reflection in the mirror, shaking my head.

I turned, walked out of the bathroom, and past her to the door, saying nothing. I looked one last time at the blood on the floor and at her. She stood there in silence holding her face. I left, and have never seen her again.


  1. You warned us about the step over the line and the downward spiral. This one certainly shows it. Pretty much always before, though your anger was other directed, you generally took it out on yourself. Here you chose to lash out and hurt someone who (as far as I can tell from the story) had done you nor intended you no harm. Though her concern for her carpet might seem a little callous, your general condition and the bleeding must have been so alarming that her disoriented and mundane concern about the carpet is almost understandable. The thing is, as you have pointed out, you have had that uncanny ability to foresee the next step in the spiral and to say, "What the hell, let it come!"

    Also, in your telling of the story, you continue to have an integrity and an honesty that is brutal in its openness. This one is not a flattering portrait, my friend, but I respect your unembellished, unapologetic reminiscence.

  2. There are those of us who've done regrettable things under the influence, things we'd never contemplate for a minute sober. Thank you for your honesty telling your story. It actually makes me think of some of the things I've done under the influence. (Drunk, playing chicken in a fucking Volkswagon going the wrong way on the parkway at 2 in the morning--that was smart, for one.) It's good for me personally to remember those times....

  3. Oh, I forgot to add--with the headlights off!!

  4. "...what we were like, what happened, and..." saves lives. Thanks again.