"You folks lost?"

Most of today was spent editing the August issue, stalking the wild typo and battling my tendency to say the same thing I already said in the previous paragraph. Re-reading my mother’s visit, guess it seemed like she’s a monster, but she’s not. She’s my mom and I love her. What happened happened, though.

These first three months of Pathetic Life haven’t been what my life usually is. There's been a visitor every month, but ordinarily it's just me, going to work and maybe the movies, talking to myself and sometimes the homeless people. Nothing much happens, and that’s been my routine for many months, until the last three, so don’t be expecting guest stars all the time.

♦ ♦ ♦

By late afternoon, I needed a break from all the words, so I took a round trip to nowhere on the 38 Geary. Two buses went past, too jammed with people to let anyone else aboard, and I took the third bus, where there were empty seats. I took two, as I do, and rode far enough to smell the ocean, then came back.

I abhor advertising, but if there must be billboards all over, Heather Locklear’s face is a torture I’ll submit to. She’s currently plastered across almost every bus shelter, her head blown up six feet tall, four feet wide.

She must be somehow computer-generated — Heather has no pimples, no sweat glands, no imperfections. She is myth America: blond hair, blue eyes, a hint of a smile. At every corner she says, “Mondays are a bitch,” because she plays a bitch on some TV show, and the show is moving to Monday nights. I’ve never seen her TV show, and assume it stinks.

Gotta wonder what damage all the billboards with beautiful women do, to women who don't look like Heather Locklear. Very few do, you know. It must be subliminally crushing for an ordinary woman to compare herself to this airbrushed and Photoshopped imaginary-perfect Locklear thing, who probably spent four hours in a make-up chair before the photographer showed up.

♦ ♦ ♦

On the bus ride back, a middle-aged couple sat across the aisle, sharing an open map of the city. They spoke quiet Lithuanian (for all I know), and by their tone and gestures it was obvious that they were lost.

"You folks lost?" I said, but they shriveled in their seats as if I'd waved a gun. I shook my head, turned away and looked out the window again. I’m not often Mr Nice Guy, and when I am people think they’re going to get mugged.

They got off the bus a few blocks later, with a sudden air of assurance, as if they knew where they were. And where were they? At the door of the Mitchell Brothers’ O'Farrell Theater, a pornography palace at a dangerous edge of the Tenderloin. With cheery smiles, they got in line to buy tickets, and I waved goodbye to them as the bus rolled away.

From Pathetic Life #4
Saturday, September 3, 1994

This is an entry retyped from an on-paper zine I wrote many years ago, called Pathetic Life. The opinions stated were my opinions then, but might not be my opinions now. Also, I said and did some disgusting things, so parental guidance is advised.



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  1. Captain HampocketsJune 23, 2021 at 3:44 PM

    Wow, an email list. Fancy.

  2. Was the show Beverly Hills 90210?

  3. I don't remember what the show was, just that I never had any interest in it and never watched. IMDB says Healther Locklear wasn't in 90210, so — a buzzer sounds — nope, try again.


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