the Musings of the Gus home | musings index | feedback | other journals
June 1998 index
previous | next                 page bottom

June 9 1998, Tuesday



  didn't sleep too well on the couch; it's just not the same as the off c e n t e r bed. And besides... well, never mind.

I got up fairly soon after Nancy rode off to work and proceeded to get my shit together for the big ride back to Virginia. In order to get out of the driveway, I found myself doing an elaborate one-man car shuffle. I always feel a little nervous driving someone else's (invariably much shinier and dent-free) car, but Brian was still fast asleep.

I left a note and split, heading down the east side of the Blue Ridge on US 29 down to cloudy Charlottesville. The drive was entirely without incident, made easier by the cool weather and occasional light drizzle, which allowed my car to run cool even at high speeds.


  had a plan to maybe park on Wertland and visit Jessika and/or Deya, but the parking situation was impossible there and I felt funny about parking at their house, what with all the signs threatening towing and such. So I ended up on Charlottesville's hub, the Downtown Mall, drinking coffee at the Mudhouse and reading the C-ville Weekly. Bike riding in Charlottesville was this week's featured theme in the C-ville, and among the articles and sub-articles was documentation of a car-versus-bike experiment performed by none other than Nathan VanHooser and wife Janine. To see which was fastest for around-town driving, a race was held from the intersection of Emmet and University (near the Corner) to the Downtown Mall.

Not surprisingly, Janine, riding a bicycle, triumphed by ten minutes.


t was still early in the afternoon, so I decided to go to the bank and put some increasingly frayed and dog-eared checks into my savings account. On the way, I passed a small contingent including the city councilman's son, Chaz, along with some variation on his usual flunky tough-guy coterie. These tough guys don't need jobs since their wealthy parents lavish them with money and the latest in skinhead apparel. They spend their long boring days hanging out on the Downtown Mall picking fights with people. And there's no one they hate more than me, since I've been unreservedly outspoken about their thuggish fascist behaviour from the get go. I've decided, though, that the best way to deal with them is to (as my mother probably would advise) ignore them. Dealing with them - arguing with them - just isn't entertaining. Logic, satire, humour and irony are all lost on them. Fighting with them or squirting them with mace might be kind of fun to write about, but that wouldn't really solve anything and there's a good chance they'd kick my ass since they never have the balls or resolve to fight one on one.

I glanced at Chaz and just kept walking, carried out my bank business and returned the way I'd come, oblivious to the calls of friends who hadn't seen me in awhile. (I always ignore anyone shouting "Gus!" across the mall since it might well be an enemy.) Chaz decided he was going to intimidate me by following me (with one of his companions, of course), but I carried on as usual. There just happened to be lots of policemen on the mall at the time; my feeling is that a guy with as many emotional problems as Chaz is probably a continual public nuisance and must be kept under watch at all times. Since his daddy is an influential politician, though, Chaz is evidently the kind of nuisance that must be tolerated.

I came across Shonin walking with a friend. He was the first person I saw whom I knew since coming back. He caught me up on some of the latest news, or what little of the latest news he'd seen. Leah had come back through town for a day (traveling with her New York housemate Red Headed Diana) and left a wake of mayhem in drunken destruction in her wake. Too bad I missed her; she's a cool chicky chick.

I decided to go to the library to, you know, check my email and such. I used to be able to do that at the Mudhouse, but there's always somebody on the computes there. Chaz and his thuggish companion followed me. It so happened that just then a thickly clotted cluster of the thug contingent was hanging out beside the library. This group included the increasingly plump former raver girl and her older black boyfriend among others. The boyfriend shouted mockingly at me that I'd better watch out, that Chaz was right behind me. Judging from the sorts of things this particular boyfriend finds funny, I'd say he makes a perfect match for the increasingly plump former raver girl. I had my digital camera; I guess I should have taken some pictures, even if it would have been a provocation.

Once I was in the library, the slow pursuit came to an end. I don't get the feeling Chaz spends a lot of time in libraries and walking into one would have taken him out of his element; no doubt his father motions to cut the library budget at ever city council meeting.


p in the Mezzanine of the library is the computer room, the physical embodiment of something called Monticello Avenue. As you may recall, I'd been trying to get the job of Internet Specialist at the library, and my job would have included overseeing this particular room. The man who did get this job, a sweaty, grumpy overweight white male, noted that I was checking my mail in Netscape and sternly reprimanded me, saying that changing Netscape preferences has been considered a serious no-no ever since someone impersonated someone else and sent threatening email from the lab. I won't even go into why I think such a rule is ridiculous. Truth be known, I knew I was breaking the rules; over a year ago I'd been reprimanded for the same crime by the same overweight sweaty white male.


fter I left the Downtown Mall, I decided to go see about the status of my security deposit for 129 Observatory Avenue, the place that I once called both "Kappa Mutha Fucka" and "home." The landlord was Godfrey Land Management, and his dreary wood-paneled offices are in the Ivy Square Shopping Center. I talked to Godfrey's secretary, and when I mentioned the concept of getting my security deposit back, she developed the sort of expression that indicated she hadn't cut a whole lot of security deposit refund checks in her day. I've been warned by many people that the landlords of Charlottesville frequently rip off tenants when time comes to refund security deposits. I've decided, though, that if anyone wants to rip off my security deposit, I won't go away quietly. For example, Godfrey does not have a page for his business anywhere on the web. You can be sure he will have one if my security doesn't come back or else comes back too small.

Back from the tangent. The secretary told me that security deposits take something like thirty days for processing. So I left her a forwarding address. We'll see what happens.


  parked the Dart on JPA and walked to UVA's Cocke Hall to do some internet work. Wendy the Plutonic showed up, and she sat at the Mac next to me to check her email, but she admitted to being too self conscious to actually work on her journal there. She experiences social freak-outs kind of easy, it seems. I was very pleased to have her journal while I was up in Bethesda. Her friends (with the exception of Wacky Jen) don't much overlap mine, but the settings, events, and overall attitude are ones to which I very much relate. And she tells good stories. Yes, that's an endorsement.


now stories from the social scene...



  called Deya and Jessika and got the latter on the phone, you know, the most permanently Charlottesvillian of the Malvern Girls. I sort of invited myself over, but I stopped on the way to pick up a 3 litre bottle of Carlo Rossi Paisano and a bag of chips.

When I got to the Wetland Mansion and climbed the stairs to the room that Jessika and Deya share, I was struck immediately by how the clutter I'd seen when I'd last been there had somehow vanished and also by Jessika's hair, which she had dyed bright bright late-70s red, a colour I've never seen her put in her hair. But she'd been into red a bit of late, riding a red bike and wearing red clothes. Perhaps it's the influence of tussin.

We sat around eating pretzels and dip, drinking Carlo Rossi Paissano, and talking about things. Jessika caught me up on all the latest goings on. First of all, nothing of interest has happened with the fratty housemates. They mostly keep to themselves, though they do host the occasional noisy gathering, a fact that makes Jessika feel better about having her friends over. But the drunk boys are not encouraged to stop by except to rendezvous.

"The Drunk Boys."

That's a new term. It is used to describe the group consisting of Morgan Anarchy, the Boy Jesse and Johnny Boom Boom (who I've decided to start calling "Johnny Two Boom"). The drunk boys all hang out together and drink lots of cheap fake wine all day long. They're all living together, squatting together, in the best of the abandoned houses up on Carter's Mountain, although whenever possible Johnny spends the night with a girl, usually Kirstin the Ecoradical or Sarah Kleiner. Recently Johnny got a ride up to Malvern and returned with his car. Since they spend so much time with Johnny Two Boom, Morgan Anarchy and the Boy Jesse pepper their speech with all his urban-ethnic expressions, complete with exaggerated Philadelphia accent. They can often be overheard saying things such as "Oh my Ged!" and "You like da juice?" The Boy Jesse doesn't usually get so completely absorbed in a subculture and it's bizarre to hear the usually quiet, unaffected boy talking in this manner.

Along with various girls, Johnny Two Boom also now has a dog, a big German Shepherd that Cecelia the Brazilian Girl found as a stray and entrusted to him. Cecelia's always taking in strays and farming them out to her friends.

For her part, Cecelia has broken her prescriptional addiction to Ray Robot's house and moved down to Florida.

Ray Robot, meanwhile, has been acting the same as ever, doing precisely what people find most irritating whenever he gets drunk at parties. At a recent Abundance House party in honour of Monster Boy's birthday, Ray Robot's garden-destroying rambunctiousness drove Elizabeth and Cory the Burrito Girl both to unusual acts of violence.

In other news, Matthew Hart has been enraged at me, Deya and particularly Jessika ever since the day we were moving out of Kappa Mutha Fucka and he discovered his air conditioner missing from our front porch. At the time we'd lied and told him that we didn't know what had happened to it, but of course we'd sold it for $25. Matthew's a smart guy and he knew we were lying. For the past two weeks he's been going around telling everybody how awful we all are. So yesterday, Deya and Jessika mustered their courage and drove up Carter's Mountain (where Matthew and Angela now live) to have a little discussion about the issue. Matthew had mostly been blaming Jessika for everything (figuring she's the most sociopathic of us three), but Deya admitted that she, Deya, had done it all, and had even pretended to call her mother to ask if the air conditioner had been sold in the yard sale. She justified it all as being an outgrowth of bitterness from the difficult days when Matthew was our housemate. Jessika told me that the discussion was very awkward and didn't resolve anything. That's how it is when you try to confront Matthew, a situation he likes to avoid. He's already made up his mind what the facts and values of the matter are, and he doesn't see any use in discussing it further.

In still other news, Joanna Road Rage returned to Malvernia with Peggy and the Baboose, and shortly thereafter Zachary vanished without telling anyone where he had gone. It's thought that he may have followed Peggy in her car.

In more obscure news, Tandem held a big graduation at KC's house, and of course lots of the horrible tough guys and their lackeys showed up, including a skinhead girl who decided to pick a fight with a little punk rock girl whose leather jacket was covered with patches and spikes. Morgan Anarchy defended the little punk rock girl and now she is in love with him.

Jessika and I moved out to the balcony and continued with our vino and stories. We saw Franz and Elizabeth coming down Wertland one last time from the now-defunct Blond House, so we called out to them and they came up and chatted with us for a spell.


essika had made plans to take Morgan Anarchy and his mother out to the Jefferson Theatre to see a movie tonight, The Apostle, taking advantage of the fact that she can see movies for free with as many guests as she chooses. She said I could come along too, so I decided to come along.

After the Boy Jesse dropped off Morgan, I drove us three to the Downtown Mall in the Dart. At the Jefferson, I smuggled a small amount of vino through the door.

Morgan's mother met us in front of the theatre. She's a pleasant, kindly, thin grey-haired woman, and she evidently gets along very well with her gutterpunk son, though she no doubt worries after him a great deal. They embrace each other fervently both when they meet and depart. It's really very touching since they're now from such completely different planets. She usually gives him a $100 bill whenever she spends the evening with him, and tonight was no exception.

Deya, who I hadn't seen since May, came in during the showing of the movie and helped me drink my vino.

About The Apostle

I really liked some things about this movie, even though it often dragged and made me yawn. The thing I liked best, I think, was the way the movie forced me to experience the humanity of dirt-poor southern evangelical Christians. These people had all the problems, aptitudes, interests and failings of real people that I know. They were funny. They occasionally made wrong decisions. But their unifying force was a desire to revel in the Lord, to form a mini-utopia around their humble little church. How is this really any different from Big Fun?

In The Apostle, matters such as racial equality were taken for granted, but black people were not portrayed as simply dark versions of white people, a mistake often made when an attempt is being made to emphasize racial equality. The interplay between the white preacher on the lam and his largely black congregation was, to me, amazing, both how it was acted and how pitfalls and clichés were avoided. At times the movie crossed the line into overly-Hollywoodesque formula-melodrama (such as the scene with the bulldozer driver), but you have to expect a little of that from a Hollywood movie.

The final scene dragged on far too long, but I have to admit it brought tears to my eyes, a fact Jessika found both puzzling and intriguing when we discussed the movie afterwards. It hadn't affected her nearly as much.


  drove Morgan and Jessika to Abundance House, trying to track down the other Drunk Boys, who often hang out with Kirstin the Ecoradical. No one was there, so we tried Plan B, and went to Natural Leslie's place on East High Street. That's where they were, including Kirstin, the Drunk Boys and Balled Andy, who has moved down from Malvern, is working at Integral Yoga, and living in his van. Henceforth, by the way, Balled Andy is to be known only as "Quiet Andy." Too many of you jokers reading my musings actually ask Andrew upon meeting him, "Are you Balled Andy?" without once stopping to consider the possibility that maybe he's self conscious about his hair loss.

We sat around, drinking and chatting. A boring little British comedy was on the tube, but eventually Natural Leslie turned it off and put on some Tool. I like Tool quite a bit, but I know Jessika and Johnny Two Boom both hate it.

Leslie (whose husband was in another room sleeping) was trying her best to be a good and gracious host, though Jessika detected clues that perhaps Leslie feared she was being taken advantage of. We were mostly good, though, only breaking one glass and eating up only one bag of her granola. As for drinks, we'd all brought out own.

Wacky Jen showed up much later with some leftover Sangria she'd salvaged from work at the Tokyo Rose. Most of the boys ended up playing cards or something like that in the living room, so I moved into the kitchen with the girls and the sangria, since they were doing a much more interesting thing, that is gossiping.

I grew bored and decided to head over to our next destination, Wacky Jen's place on Cherry Avenue, early. When I got there I fell asleep in the front seat.


fter who knows how long, Wacky Jen woke me up, and soon I found myself in her apartment with almost all the people who had been at Natural Leslie's place, with the exception of Jessika and Natural Leslie herself, who had each respectively called an end to her participation in the evening.

There was more sangria drinking, and, after a very long time, most people went home. Johnny and Kirstin went back to Abundance House, I slept on Wacky Jen's couch, and Quiet Andy parked out in Wacky Jen's driveway and slept there.


a little catch-up on recent Charlottesville history as written by Wacky Jen

in c'ville: cory [the burrito girl] is gone home to maryland. kirsten [the ecoradical] leaves this week. [quiet] andrew, j[ohnny two boom]'s friend from philly is moving here, he got a job at integral yoga. and may live at the abundance house. monster boy had a birthday party, and cory got in a fight w[ith] ray [robot], we all stood around and watched. she got to be angry and elizabeth got to be righteous and ray got attention. and the rest of us got entertained and then bored by it. which is a party i guess. and kirsten passed out at ten, and missed the whole party, which shed thrown for him..glen [monster boy], not ray. the [drunk] boys (john and morgan) went to philly, i guess they're back by now. deya and i went to virginia beach, for a day. on our return we were too tired to play laser tag w dempsey, jessika told him 'the cat got sick, cant play, sorry.' what else... one night we hung out w utkan and heard lots of stories about turkey, and his love life, and his travels and travails in the u.s. then ended up at that guy doug? [ross]'s house, the guy who bikes around town w his shirt off and doesnt get tan, you know, who declared his love for jessika. tokyo rose is deadly slow. my hair is fading from blue to minty fresh green. rocky horror picture show played at the jefferson, to great acclaim, it's playing again this weekend. all the wertland houses have emptied and ended. tandem graduated. its summer. and its 4:30 and ive got to go to work.

one year ago
back to the top
previous | next