Strange Days


Strange days have found us
Strange days have tracked us down
They’re going to destroy our casual joys
We shall go on playing or find a new town, yeah

Strange eyes fill strange rooms
Voices will signal their tired end
The hostess is grinning, her guests sleep from sinning
Hear me talk of sin and you know this is it, yeah

Strange days have found us
And through their strange hours we linger alone
Bodies confused, memories misused
As we run from the day to a strange night of stone

……by The Doors

Strange Days by Bill White

And in those strange days, when words were dense, thick stupid and meaningless, Jimbo projected his films at Eagles Auditorium, while Digger Dan entered the Hasty Tasty during his passage through Seattle on his way to an Alaskan compound.

Crammed quarters for night osmosis bog eyes and (uh) the milkshake spiders laugh at destitute coffee dimes and (uh) the grease and potatoes swell shrunken guts of starvation and (uh) the toilet is off limits unless you sign a waiting list and (uh) the ancient jukebox compels tongue to dance syncopate and (uh) the surgeon is disguised as a hamburger trout on this last stop til morning’s residue unlocks shops.

Digger Dan no longer wanted to work at the free store in the Haight, and Jimbo no longer wanted to sing.  He wanted to write poetry and make films.  They met before dawn in the Hasty Tasty, where Dan ate the night away and Jimbo thought on his fate.

“Peace Brother, I’m Digger Dan and I got six old ladies and seven kids and I treat my dog better than most cats treat their chicks.  Follow me and I promise food in your belly, a roof over your head, and a chick whenever you need one.”

“I don’t need any more chicks,” Jimbo replied. “Chicks make me into solid body and I want to be spirit vapor.”

As they continued to speak, the scholars drink tea and talk and not pay and (uh) outside the roadskin is mutilated by whining whitewalls and (uh) inside the glazed donuts crash the conversation and kick them into the gutter.

Dan looked up at the donut bullies and howled, “Peace Brother I’m Digger Dan and I’m gonna live to be 130 because I don’t eat any of that canned food bullshit that turns people into robots.”

Jimbo was the first to stand, and he helped Dan to his feet, who hobbled north with Jimbo’s help.

They flagged down a metro bus, and Jimbo paid both fares, while the tilted empress told the bus driver of grim observation (decline of carbolic paradise).  The bus curved onto Greenlake Way as goateed athletes jogged around Hoodlum Lake thinking of tin soldiers limping through corridors of hospital smackhouse while private nurses are tortured until they confess to anti-american activities.

Dan spotted a chick nodding off in the back of the bus and creaked down to her.

“Peace Sister I’m Digger Dan, and I just got in from San Francisco and I  need a place to crash before taking my men up to Alaska, but don’t  lick my arms because I’m no better than you except my head is straight and you are controlled by painted bricks.”

Faces chemically endowed with greasepaint cheeks twitch longingly for Dan before street cleaners arrive with hoses and badges to spark countless cigarettes choked through tracts of menopausal virgins who are arrested in the fountain for depravity as squiggly wiggly ladies are offended by Jimbo’s smile musted from moonshot to protect US citizens from the whores trying to get there first.

Monster bones found in ashcan are traded for paper of smack to be shot before washing marrow out of the junkie wishbone.  Chemical hysteria from ergot sets of change in deranged flower child running naked, begging change before tuning into God.

“Peace Brothers and Sisters, I’m Digger Dan and every time you spend money in America you buy bullets and are just as responsible as the man who uses them. That is why I never carry money.  It’s no good –can’t fuck it, can’t eat it – I learned how to kill in the marines but when they ordered me to fight I kicked the sergeant’s ass.  But if some 18 foot redneck jumps me because his nine year old daughter ran off to the Haight and caught the clap, I’ll rip out his eyeballs with my thumb and use them for ping pong balls.”

In the Monday dawn, Catholic schools clothed in glass (vegetables require sunlight for photosynthesis) are closed for the Easter holidays. Coffeehouse windows (flowers require sunlight for photosynthesis) are covered with shades during afternoon lightshowrockconcertdance, not knowing that all life without oxygen withers.

“I’m getting off the bus here,” Jimbo told Dan.  “Things are getting too strange.  I’m getting off the bus and going to Paris.  I want to lie down with the poets.”

“We should go back to the Hasty Tasty,” Dan answered. “The ledge on the other side of the window is too cold, but inside it’s warm with the juke, toilet, and coffee.  My teeth are chattering and once that starts, there is no stopping.”

“I’m stopping.” Jimbo said, and he disappeared.