Jay Passer – Feature Novel Addition.

by Horror Sleaze Trash on July 4, 2011

Amsterdam, blue balls and a million bicycles. I’m gonna pay Vincent a visit tomorrow morning, 10 a.m. sharp. I’m pretty excited, hell, it’s fabled Amsterdam, you can smoke weed on the old cobblestones without fear of the Law. It’s like a flat Frisco, and I can say Frisco, since I’m from Frisco. All the bikes, all the straight-backed women astraddle, the canals, the wrought iron arabesques, the tiny toy cars, the weird sirens, the alien buzz of the phones ringing, erh-ehrrr, Europeans clearing their throats, amazing, the fact there are still any old-school phones left anywhere. But most of all the van Gogh Museum, which I avoid, the anticipation is too great, like facing the sun, or God, or a bully in a dream. I go back to my room at the Quincy, a basement matchbox where I watch MTV, drink Scotch and rum, smoke copious amounts of green stank, and photograph various still-life studies of my traveling trinkets on the night table: drinking cup, flashlight, bottle opener, sunglasses, dental floss, stack of coins, rolling papers, bag o’weed, Zippo, passport. . .
I go by the building I don’t know how many times, I stand alone in the park, till I finally simply walk up, pay, and enter with all the other tourists. The collection on display is on the 2nd floor. The building, quiet in a church-murmuring sort of way. . . I take the staircase. . . I venture forth into a rather large room, the paintings way in the distance, tiny on seemingly vast walls. I inch up to investigate. In the back of my mind the wheels race through the big glossy coffee-table reproductions. . . A wheat field or two, self-portrait with bandaged ear, crows, cypress trees, peasants, boats, stars. . . Jesus! They look so small! And behind safety-acrylic, glare reducing the impassioned textures to shadowy murk. Plus the frames, cropping the edges of the paintings a good 1/2” around! What the. . . I feel ripped-off. All those years of pent-up anticipation; my Master, my Hero! In person, I don’t see what’s the big deal. Anesthetized by the art-world sell-out, I’m robbed of a vision of my own. . .

I’m drinking rum in my room. Chuck says get out of the room, go find a girl for god’s sake, carpe diem, it’s like shooting fish in a barrel. Go get yourself a fine-ass 250-euro whore. My treat!
I’m U. S. Pacific Northwest underdressed, Hawaiian shirt, sandal-loafers, khaki pants of no distinguishable color or even recognizable hue, navy-blue billed cap with gold-stitched stars forming the Big Dipper and the North Star, and under that the word ALASKA in gold embroidery. Tourist. American tourist. Marked! I eat some cheese and bread and mussels in chile oil and carrot sticks and pork rinds procured from the Chinashop on Overtoon. Taking it easy with rum and stink-bud from the hash-bar on Princedenstraat, where I e-mail stateside contacts, though I can barely see but for the clouds of smoke and my dirty glasses. Internet access, espresso, Heineken, and drawers and drawers of bud, graded in several categories, cache in the back bar. Reflection off the water in the channel, glistening silver-blue tinsel. Eyes ache from the assault of Amsterdam. Picturesque to every cobblestone. Heartburn from diet of fresh baguette brie olives ham and rum and Scotch and golden beer and Gauloises. Sure I’d be more willing to join the fray, say I had a damn scarf, or a decent jacket, but thanks to Chuck’s sage advice I kept my bedroll and rags to a bare minimum.
Naw, it’s moderate in Yerp this time of year, you don’t need shit. . . Be a man. That’s Chaz, smile three Valiums wide.

here in this quaint old city
cobblestone-arched bridge over smooth canal
wrought-iron curlicue pissoirs
cars you can fold up and put in your pocket
the Quincy English, my lavish abode
there’s a music school nearby
you can hear the faint plinking
and plaintive strings
murmur through the chill wind
you know, this place is pretty damn cold
I bundle up in several thin shirts
the music students ride by on their old rusty bikes
the kind with drum brakes and zing zing! bells and
fancy chrome headlights
powered by a little generator attached to the flywheel
a sparkling light
guiding you through the mists and fog
Amsterdam
all your women ride straight-backed on their bicycles
seemingly in tandem
as on a merry-go-round
they are tall and fine-boned
bundled up against the chill
of December morning just after
St. Nick’s Day
all the discarded Christmas trees
out on the streets
in repose
by the curb or leaning in slumber
against cold wrought-iron

The ticket’s for India, that’s my ultimate destination, so I’m on the plane. Goodbye Europe, I barely got to know you. You’re like distant relatives I never knew I had and don’t really care to meet.

Ten 5-mg tablets Diazepan for ten rupees- fifteen cents worth. Ain’t India sweet? Wondering, can you chop ‘em up?
They call the pharmacist a ‘chemist’. These purveyors don’t even flinch. Just hand over the shit.
This one guy’s been tailing me, trying to pass off chunks of incense as hash. Can’t shake him. No matter where you go, no matter how saturated the mob, they find you, single you out, as if they can see into your mind, straight to the dim place where the pang of chemical longing quivers.
I happen upon a clean-looking shop on the Main Bazaar in Pahar Ganj, it’s where I buy hash from the dealer in silk, incense, computer-time and tattoos, Kamal. It’s close to the Anoop Hotel, where I stay. Rooftop terrace restaurant shared with statues of the gods and gigantic rubber plants. Green curry for breakfast. 360’ view of New Delhi, what you can see of it, pollution thick enough to cut with a machete.
Rama House: I have found the Jews, Habad House within, black orthodox hats and curled locks long beards and heavy black glasses, knowing smiles as I hesitate, glance in the door. . . He steps forward, hand upturned, saying, in the kindest manner imaginable, The door is always open, friend.

Joanne
the death of love
most insipid and obvious
romantic love
the kind which drives you
as a kid
hormonal
maniacal
suicidal
from atop the world
mountain crumbled under
murderous foot
Joanne

Black coffee, fried eggs, curried potatoes with onions and tomatoes. That’s what they’re eating, the Israeliac women at the table beside mine. I’m about to scurry but the two just sat, so I linger. One passable, but somewhat lumpy in a red woolen Mexican-style shawl, olive skin and black curly locks bunched close to her head. . . I maintain an aloof nonchalance, then her companion arrives, a real beauty, same type of shawl but a tighter fit, oh yes, and her face! Delicate, perfectly composed, Queen of Sheba type. . . Eyes obsidian, black dancing pools of sensuality. . . Not a flaw. Hey, maybe my luck’s turning, maybe I can use some of those Trojans Chuck encouraged me to procure for the trip. . .
All the Indians are watching cricket on the wide screen TV, incongruous in this courtyard decorated with potted ferns, rubber trees, ficus, marble terrace and wrought iron, brass sculptures of animals and deities. Buttered toast and coffee is all I can handle after two pints of whiskey, six valiums, a half-gram of hash and too many cigarettes to count, yesterday. Before I can muster the bravado, which normally comes so easy for me, some old, fat, chattering Nana sits with the duo of cuties.
I don’t understand cricket. Maybe I ought to buy a book on the subject.

2 weeks
seen enuf
drown it
this jerkwater
stumps for legs he pedals with his hands
she peddles 9 yr old daughter
family of 5 on moped
cows
eat better’n children
strung out
over the abyss
over Delhi rooftops
my shoes!
run over by 6 dozen rickshaws
flannel torn in 5 places same rickshaws
everyone!
is your friend
HASHISH? GRASS?
trash piled up
mud and sloppy mountain
buildings crumbling
bombed out!
I slice thru pollution
machete of metaphor
sip Coca-Cola
bottled back in
1959

An object lesson on time is in order. The end of the day, you sleep. At the end of your life, you die. Simple! Everything else happens between, isn’t it funny? In other words, nothing is on time in India.
Scheduled for Goa, Chucky talks me out of it, saying they’ll fleece me worse there than in New Delhi. Well, he’s the expert traveler, can I argue? Who can argue with five hundred grand? So Varanasi it is.
The train is two-and-a-half hours late.

When the birds fly in a flock, randomly? Why? Leaderless? The Indian pigeon. Collectively misdirected? Going nowhere but the next crumbling rooftop, black wing aflutter before glinting sunshine on soaring bellies and sleek undersides. . . Gliding. . . Maybe they’re working off their dusk swill of trash off the Ganges.
I am an American.
Endlessly circling, or as I check my cheap Casio watch, rubber wristband always either too tight or too loose. Many handy features however, 24-hour time, alarm, timer, little green light.
The birds have split into two groups of about thirty, the groups jammed together, then spreading, seemingly at random, one group tight formation, the other wider, spread out; is it a game? Territorial issue? A challenge? Indian pigeons, they must avoid the myriad colored paper kites whizzing and darting- dozens of ‘em.
I am an American.
What does ‘go fly a kite’ mean in Americanese? It means: Fuck off.
I have nothing to do, and all the time in the world.

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