Those Fucked Up Beatniks: Part I
For my 21st birthday I got a set of new guitar strings, a copy of “On The Road”, and kicked out of my shitty apartment with no heat. I remember the eyes of my landlord telling me to get out, it wasn’t about the rent with that motherfucker, he just didn’t like me. That was the first time I really felt the generation gap, “Don’t trust anyone over 30” was the “YOLO” of our day, our battle cry. And while YOLO still seems like a damn lame battle cry, I just might have crossed the generation gap without knowing it. My possessions in that one room apartment were a record player, maybe 20 records, a guitar, and a bed. I sold everything apart from my guitar, I loved that guitar, it was all black, but the inside was a deep burgundy, when I played a note it vibrated through my bones, for some reason this particular guitar had sounded better than any other guitar I had or still even have played in my life. My guitars name was Nameless, and I never played it once, all I did was give it the means to speak.
But that’s enough alienating of the less musically inclined readers, as I stepped out that warped and twisted apartment door into the cold gray alleyways of Calgary, Alberta, I considered crying, but my mind drew to the Lenny Bruce albums that I had spent so many cold nights laughing my ass off too, “Would Lenny cry? Fuck no he wouldn’t cry, he’d go somewhere”, so I went behind the garbage cans, flattened out a cardboard box, and prepared for a real shitty night spent in the red neon glow of a dive bar’s open sign. I tried playing Nameless, but any notes I hit were dissonant. I looked through the drawers and pockets of my guitar case. I had somewhere around 20 joints in a small pocket under the neck, and not much else, except for a book that I had forgotten to sell. “On The Road”. So I spent that night reading that book. Reading “On The Road” will change the life of any man who reads it. By the time the red neon had shut off around 3 in the morning, I knew I was going somewhere, if you are ever sad, move, go somewhere, anywhere, you will not be sad about the discourses of city life after making a pilgrimage for the sake of the Journey.
I thought again of that Lenny Bruce album, I knew where I’d go, Los Angles, the city of desperate angels and obtuse angles, I’d go and see Lenny live in L.A; seemed like a plan. I’d trek down south, hop the Canadian border, go through Montana, a little bit of Idaho, Utah, Nevada, and finally get to Los Angeles.
I smoked half a joint and eventually fell asleep behind that garbage can. I awoke just before sunrise that next morning. I walked down south to the end of the city limits, I walked down Interstate Freeway 10 for half an hour, punching my thumb out at any car that happened to pass until a car pulled over spitting gravel at my feet, I opened the passenger door to see a Jewish looking fellow with tangled curly hair that whipped all around his head. He took a pair of sunglasses off, revealing dark blue eyes that looked though me as he said in a wiry voice “Were are you going, man?”. For a second I stumbled, but I managed to spit out “The border”, I was sore, I didn’t want to talk, I spent the night on a cardboard mat and I’d been walking all day, I had no wish to talk anymore than I had too. The Jewish looking fellow said “Yeah, me too” and invited me in. I put Nameless in the back seat and sat in the loving embrace of fake leather seats. I fell asleep in that car seat without even asking the name of my driver. I awoke around 2 to the sound of a car beeping and the Jewish looking fellow sticking his head out the window and calling the guy who just cut us off a “Fucking cock licker!”
Noticing I was now awake, he looked over to me and asked for my name, I answered and found that his name was David. “You know I can smell the grass in your guitar case, right, you wouldn’t mind lighting one up would you?” he asked me with a growing smile. “No problem, man”, I answered. I climbed into the back, opened my guitar case, and grabbed a joint. I sat back in my seat and pulled my white lighter out from my coat pocket. “Oh shit!” David yelled as he snatched the lighter from my hand and threw it out the window. “What the fuck is wrong with you, man, are you trying to get us killed?”, I was utterly befuddled, and half whispered a pathetic “What?” “How green are you?” David said, “Don’t you know that white lighters are incredibly bad luck?” He reached into a pocket on the drivers side door and produced a black lighter, “Here use this”. Still confused, I obliged, and hotboxed that old car, moving forward towards the border.
@thomaschong, I can’t help but feel ripped off slightly. The 60s seemed to be a truly exciting time.
Culture was at its best and there was some fuckin’ mean cats trading their wares. Jack Kerouac. Lenny Bruce. Bob Dylan. Jimi Hendrix. Allan Ginsberg. Timothy Leary. Ken Kesey. Movies like Easy Rider, Cool Hand Luke, Woodstock. What a time to be alive.
The 70s would have been cool as well with the likes of you Mr. Chong, but dang man, the 60s was IT.
The hippies were most likely a social engineering project designed to introduce certain ideas into the mainstream, these ideas not being necessarily false in their entirety, but false enough and especially misdirected.
I mean, don’t people realize what “the grateful dead” means? Grateful to be dead, happy to be burnt out. And their logo is that cracked (lightning bolt) skull, a dead person who died due to head injury, or a symbol for brain damage.
I mean listen to this joyful crap:
Is getting by and surviving everything? What about the sick fucks who want to enslave future generations? Isn’t it as bad to sit back while the nazis play god as it is evil to cheer for the nazis?
@whowhatwhy, So what you’re saying is the government who couldn’t keep the secret that the president got his cock sucked by a secretary engineered an entire movement that was both anti-Vietnam and anti-establishment, and made a band that would 22 years after its inception make a song about getting by in life for the goal of keeping the population stupid. If they really wanted to keep us lethargic and stupid, they would legalize heroin.
@thomaschong, yeah that is a real history changing truth, that the president got a blowjob. I would recommend that you look into these things before defending them based on “common sense” because today’s common sense is dictated by television which is undoubtedly propaganda.
@whowhatwhy, I know fluoride is toxic, I know there’s poison in all sorts of foods and vaccines, I know the government isn’t looking out for my better interests whatsoever, but the idea that hippies were a social engineering project is absurd.
@thomaschong, “And while YOLO still seems like a damn lame battle cry, I just might have crossed the generation gap without knowing it.”
No, YOLO really is that lame. Me and my friends actually had a talk about why YOLO not the same as the ’60s character, and how YOLO is more like the idiot’s version of Kerouac than the real thing. Kerouac would be more like taking a wild road trip with your friends to go to places you’ve never been. YOLO is randomly taking the ketchup bottle in a restaurant and spraying it everywhere screaming “YOLO!!!!!”
By the way, nice story, as always. Looking forward to part 2.
-Jewish looking fellow sticking his head out the window and calling the guy who just cut us off a “Fucking cock licker!”
-“Don’t you know that white lighters are incredibly bad luck?”
Fun read, looks like you found yourself an interesting friend.
Q: “When the truth is found..to be lies, and all the joy within you dies, don’t you want somebody to love?”
A: The truth cannot be lies, if i am ignorant of the truth then i need to stop being ignorant of the truth instead of reinforcing my ignorance.