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Archive for the ‘crime’ Category

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So. GAZZAN.

The new metal hardcore band featuring the Melnick brother, Blaze Tishko of INTEGRITY and IN COLD BLOOD. Asked me to write a band bio/press release. So here it is! Of course, it is always a work in progress and I would like feedback. But I would really like it if you check out their page and buy their EP. Its really, really good.

Anyway…

“Featuring members from the 3 best “generations” of INTEGRITY – founding members Aaron and Lenny Melnick plus Blaze Tishko, and Rob Orr+ – GAZZAN forge a new path into metal and hardcore!

The collaboration of these four produce some of the best music of their careers – powerful, brutal and melodic. GAZZAN mark the fierce return to music of the Melnick Brothers. Aaron “A Double” and Leon Micha have been creating music together all their lives, but never before have they had this level of mature talent. Their musicianship soars to new heights. While the powerhouse driving solos of Blaze Tishko always promise a face melting experience. Blaze’s technicality and complexity add a depth to the GAZZAN songs. Rounding out the unit, multi-instrumentalist, Rob Orr, meets Leon’s thundering bass with monstrous drum beating to unleash a bestial rhythm section.

The recent addition of AMERICAN WEREWOLVES singer Trevor Moment howling seals the circle to invoke a demon of metal!!

gazzan frank garcia

                         GAZZAN live at Empty Bottle June 17, 2016 Photo: Frank Garcia
This is the first studio work of the band – a four song EP titled EXTINCTION. Recorded at the infamous Mars Compound by engineer Bill Korecky, the longtime collaborator and documentarian of Cleveland hardcore and metal. Mars Studio’s sound is iconic.

EXTINCTION’s four songs expand upon themes long present in all of the songwriting of Melnick/ Tishko. By corrupting traditional hardcore structure, undermining classic metal tropes, and sidestepping the crossover revival, GAZZAN create a sound both familiar with and dissociating from the history of these guy’s former bands. At points, straightforward metal then abruptly careening toward a hardcore riff assault, GAZZAN is exciting for old fans and new.

GAZZAN has shows scheduled for the rest of the summer, most notably playing September 2  2016 at the Grog Shop with MONOLORD, BEASTMAKER, and SWEAT LODGE.

gazzan monolord 9:9:16

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CIDER- THE HISTORY OF A VERY UNIMPORTANT BAND

CIDER STARTED BARELY PLAYING ON NEW YEARS DAY 1991 WITH PAUL E. WOG ON GUITAR AND VOCALS AND BOBBY NUTHUMMER ON THE DRUMS.

I WAS BROKE, RECENTLY UNEMPLOYED AND HAD TO MOVE BACK IN WITH MY MOM OR BE HOMELESS. SHE DIDN’T LIKE THAT TOO MUCH. WHILE SHE WAS SLAVING AWAY WORKING 2 JOBS, WE WERE WORKING ON MAKING NOISE IN THE MUSTY, SMELLY BASEMENT. OK, WELL THE REASON IT SMELLED WAS THAT I LIVED DOWN THERE. SHE WAS NEVER HOME AND WE HAD A LOT OF TIME TO MAKE NOISE AND DESTROY EVERYTHING.WE WERE LIKE A BUNCH OF 5 YEAR OLDS. ONLY PROBLEM IS WE WERE IN OUR EARLY TWENTIES.

WE PLAYED SIMPLE, FAST, CATCHY, PISSED OFF SONGS WITH A LOT OF STUPIDITY AND NONSENSE THROWN IN. OUR LYRICS WERE ANGRY, PERSONAL AND SOMETIMES POLITICAL, BUT MOST IMPORTANT WE NEVER LOST OUR SENSE OF HUMOR.WE WENT THROUGH SEVERAL NAME CHANGES INCLUDING GUARANTEED RIOT AND BLOODY WOGS AND SETTLED WITH THE GENERIC NAME OF CIDER.

I KNOW, A LOT OF BANDS NOW HAVE NAMES WITH CIDER IN IT, BUT WE WERE THE FIRST THAT I KNOW OF. IT CAME FROM BOBBY’S LOVE OF THE HARD CIDER AND MAKING IT IN HIS GHETTO ASS BATHTUB. I KNOW IT’S A PRETTY STUPID NAME, BUT AFTER SEVERAL NAME CHANGES, WE STUCK WITH IT.

FOR A WHILE IT WAS JUST THE TWO OF US WITH NO VOCALS. NO ONE REALLY WANTED TO PLAY THAT STYLE OF MUSIC WITH US BACK THEN. THEN I STARTED TO SING BECAUSE IT WAS EASIER TO JUST HAVE TWO OF US IN THE BAND. WE ACTUALLY PLAYED OUT AS A 2-PIECE A FEW TIMES. BACK THEN HARDLY ANYONE WAS PLAYING OLD SCHOOL 80’S HARDCORE AND THEY REALLY DIDN’T WANT TO HEAR IT.

ME AND BOBBY WERE TWO CASUALTIES OF THE OLD CLEVO SCENE THAT HAD SHRIVELED UP AND DIED OUT. WE WERE SICK OF ALL THE DUMB GENERIC STRAIGHT EDGE, EMO, AND SHITTY METAL BANDS THAT INFILTRATED A ONCE GREAT SCENE. WE STARTED PLAYING MUSIC THAT WE WANTED TO STILL HEAR. WE LONGED FOR THE DAYS OF BANDS LIKE ANTIDOTE, CRUDE SS, CCM, THE GUNS AND SOCIAL UNREST. WE TRIED A COUPLE NERDY BASS PLAYERS AND DECIDED TO JUST STICK WITH THE TWO OF US.

THEN WE CONVINCED A2, WHO WAS IN 3 OTHER BANDS, TO PLAY BASS. NOW THE NOISY TRIO WAS COMPLETE. HE PLAYED LIKE WE LIKED, HEAVY AND DISTORTED.

WE THEN STARTED PLAYING SHOWS AND BASEMENT PARTIES WHICH RESULTED IN US NOT BEING ALLOWED TO PLAY ANYWHERE. AT FIRST, THERE WOULD BE LIKE A 15 PERSON TURNOUT. BUT THEN THINGS STARTED TO GROW AND TURN UGLY.

THERE WAS THE FAMOUS KENT RIOT OF ’93 WHICH FEATURED FIRE TRUCKS, POLICE CARS, AND AMBULANCES. NOT TO MENTION COPS GETTING ROCKS THROWN AT THEM. UNDERAGE SEX, A FEW FIST FIGHTS, A FEW ARRESTS, LOTS OF BROKEN GLASS, AND A REAL NICE FIRE TO END IT ALL. IT WOULD TAKE ME HOURS TO TELL YOU THE WHOLE STORY. NEEDLESS TO SAY THE COPS WERE LOOKING FOR ME FOR A FEW WEEKS FOR PROMOTING THE WHOLE DEAL.

WE WEREN’T SOME CRUSTY KISS-ASS BAND AND HAD NO DESIRE TO MAKE FRIENDS BECAUSE EVERYONE WAS SO STUPID BACK THEN. I WANTED TO SHOW MY HATE TO THE WORLD. THERE SEEMED TO BE A SUDDEN REBIRTH OF A SCENE AT THE TIME AND IT WAS FUN, VIOLENT, DRUNK, AND SELF DESTRUCTIVE. AT THE SAME TIME AS WE STARTED CAUSING HAVOC,  GOOD BANDS WERE SPRINGING UP LIKE WINDPIPE AND GAG REFLEX.

FROM MEMBERS OF CIDER, SPRANG UP ALL THESE OTHER BANDS LIKE THE INMATES, BRAINWASHED YOUTH, DARVOCETS, AND RUINERS. LATER ON CAME THE GREAT H-100’S.

WE RECORDED A SEVEN INCH AT THE OLD MARS ON DETROIT IN ’93. KORECKY SAID IT WAS THE NOISIEST THING HE EVER RECORDED AND HE HATED IT. THAT WAS A COMPLIMENT OF COURSE. WE RECORDED IT ALL LIVE INCLUDING VOCALS WITH NO EXTRA TRACKS.

ciderpsspot kent 1994

Paul Wog and Bobby 1994, Kent Ohio

WEDGE AND CHRIS RUIN DID SOME GREAT WHINY BACKUP VOCALS ON IT THAT MADE IT SOUND SO WONDERFUL. WE WANTED TO SOUND LIVE AND SPONTANEOUS. NO CLEANED UP BULLSHIT LIKE SO MANY OTHERS DO. JUST KEEP THE TAPE ROLLING NO MATTER WHAT.

WE WERE REAL HAPPY WITH THIS RECORDING SURPRISINGLY. WE PUT IT OUT OURSELVES ON NON-COMMERCIAL RECORDS.

I GUESS NO ONE ELSE WOULD HAVE PUT IT OUT. ONLY THROUGH MAILORDER OR FRIENDS AND ONLY 300 WERE MADE. GOOD LUCK FINDING THIS PIECE OF SHIT.

THEN I MOVED AWAY TO THE DESERT FOR 3 YEARS  BECAUSE I THOUGHT I WAS GOING TO DIE OF AN OVERDOSE OR END UP IN JAIL IF I STAYED IN CLEVELAND. NOTHING GOT DONE FOR AWHILE. OF COURSE WHEN I DID MOVE AWAY I DID GET ARRESTED A FEW TIMES AND ABUSE SUBSTANCES, EVEN MORE OUT OF BOREDOM.

IN 1996 WE ATTEMPTED TO RECORD WITH THESE NERDS IN WEDGE’S BASEMENT. IT SUCKED AND WE SUCKED. SOME OF THE SONGS WERE SALVAGEABLE, BUT THE POWER WAS LACKING. MAYBE WE’LL RELEASE SOME OF THE GOOD SONGS ON IT ONE DAY.

ANYWAYS WE CONTINUED TO PLAY SOME SHOWS ALWAYS ENDING IN A VERY VIOLENT, DESTRUCTIVE WAY LIKE BERNIE’S BAGELS IN COLUMBUS WITH SLAK AND THE MCSHITZ. TABLES, BAR STOOLS WERE BEING THROWN  AT US WHILE WE WERE PLAYING. OF COURSE MOST OF THE PEOPLE WHO DID THIS WERE OUR FRIENDS. THE SHOW ENDED WITH BOBBY THROWING HIS DRUM SET OFF STAGE AT THE CROWD.

I GUESS THAT WAS HIS WAY OF SAYING OUR SET IS OVER. THEN SOMEONE, NO NAMES MENTIONED,PULLED THE FIRE ALARM AND ENDED THE WHOLE SHOW. THIS IS JUST ONE OF MANY SHOWS THAT RESULTED IN US HAVING A BAD NAME WITH THE CLUBS, ESPECIALLY MY NAME. WE NEVER PLAYED OUT TOO OFTEN BECAUSE WE DIDN’T WANT TO BE ONE OF THOSE BANDS THAT PLAYED TOO MUCH AND GOT BORING. ALSO IT WAS VERY HARD TO CONVINCE SOMEONE TO LET US PLAY.

EVERY TIME WE PLAYED, WE WANTED IT TO BE FRESH OR ROTTEN DEPENDING ON HOW YOU LOOK AT IT. AROUND THIS TIME OTHER GREAT HARDCORE BANDS LIKE 9 SHOCKS TERROR, PUNCTURE WOUND AND GSMF WERE THERE TO CAUSE MORE HAVOC AND MAKE THE SCENE GOT EVEN MORE OUT OF CONTROL.

OUR SECOND ATTEMPT AT RECORDING A SECOND RECORD WAS DONE IN OUR TINY ONE ROOM PRACTICE SPACE IN OCTOBER 1998 BY THIS DUMMY WHO DIDN’T KNOW HOW TO RECORD TOO WELL. IT WAS AN 8 TRACK RECORDING AND IT WAS NEVER MIXED BECAUSE WE COULDN’T FIND THE GUY AGAIN AND WE WERE LAZY AND DRUNK BACK THEN. WHAT ELSE IS NEW. WE SCRAPPED THAT RECORDING TOO.

THERE WAS A FEW SONGS THAT CAME OUT DECENT, BUT IN MY OPINION IT DIDN’T TRULY REPRESENT OUR SOUND. HOPEFULLY SOMEDAY WE WILL RE-RECORD SOME OF THESE SONGS. MOST OF THEM ARE ACTUALLY WRITTEN BEFORE THE SEVEN INCH SONGS, BUT WERE RECORDED LATER ON. IF THAT MAKES SENSE.

WELL, AFTER A FEW ATTEMPTS AT FAILED RECORDINGS AND ABOUT 10 YEARS OF NOT RELEASING A RECORD, WE FINALLY LEARNED HOW TO RECORD PROPERLY. WE NEVER WANTED TO RELEASE SOMETHING JUST TO RELEASE IT. IN 2004, WE WENT TO SMOKE N’ MIRRORS STUDIOS IN BROOKLYN, NY AND RECORDED SOMETHING WE WERE VERY SATISFIED WITH.

COMBINING AARON’S IDEAS IN PRODUCING SOMETHING POWERFUL – LIVE AND RAW – AND BOBBY’S CREATIVE IDEAS TO MAKE THE DRUMS SOUND HEAVY AND MY RETARDED IDEAS, WE FINALLY HAD SOMETHING WE WERE PROUD OF.  IT WAS RECORDED ALMOST ENTIRELY LIVE INCLUDING VOCALS IN UNDER 4 HOURS AND IT FEELS THAT WAY.

FUCK THAT 75 TRACK OVERPRODUCED, CLEANED UP BULLSHIT. SO FINALLY THE RECORD IS COMING  OUT THIS YEAR ON PAINKILLER RECORDS OUT OF BOSTON. WE STILL HAVE ABOUT 10 TO 12 UNRECORDED SONGS. OH WELL.

WELL, IT’S BEEN 13 YEARS NOW.  WE STILL PLAY ONCE IN A WHILE AND WE HAVE ACCOMPLISHED NOTHING, BUT WE’VE HAD A LOT OF FUN WITH NOTHING. ANYWAYS, ENOUGH OF MY BABBLING, ENJOY THE HATE.

PAUL E. WOG, OCTOBER 2004

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Old Timey Fire Alarm

Press for Bell

I know everyone is simply dying to hear more about my daily morning commute. Not a lot has happened, since it was the end of the month and it was raining.

The rain keeps the drug addicts, can collectors, and other assorted homeless nogoodniks turtled up in door jams and other pockets of low hanging shelter. And the end of the month means everyone is out of gobermint money and holed up waiting on their checks.

Though, I did sit next to a guy in acid washed jeans and big scuffed up biker boots, carrying a wooden walking stick/cane. He was on an Obama Phone talking to his doc’s answering machine.

He was announcing that he really needed to be seen today and if he could not get an appointment, he was just going to sit in the waiting room until he could be seen. “Thanks Doctor. And God Bless you,” he said and snapped the Obama Phone closed with a grunted, “sheeeeet.”

As this guy was getting off the bus he struck up a conversation with another guy. This other guy was younger and scruffier and carrying what looked like a stand up bass case strapped to his back. I am sure there was no instrument in there based on the lumpiness of the proportions.

These two started talking about how bad these damn Muni drivers are anymore. Jerking back and forth. “The other day, this little ole lady almost took a knee cuz the way the bus driver was drivin’.”

These guys were walking a few yards behind me as we crossed the streets. I overheard the conversation without even having to try.

“I never take the bus. Well, I did but then I got off methadone.”
“You mean you got back on Hearon.”
(chuckles) “Naw man.”
“I am trying to see the doc to get a refill on the oxys. You can’t just take that bottle in and get them to call. You need to see the doc each time.”
“Yeah, I know.”
“So I gotta see the doc today. Get that refilled.”
“Uh huh. I am headed down to the methadone clinic.”
“Back on, huh?”
“Sure. Unless you get them oxys!’
The sound of their wheezy chuckles followed me as I turned heel at the corner.

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Needle Junky

But It only goes into the future!

Speaking of crack heads on the bus – I take a cramped and filthy morning bus down into the Lower Mission area of the city. I have this temp job at a hospital that caters to the indigent, crazy, and drug addled. So this other morning a very skinny, very junked out couple slips into the seats across from me. The lady is skeleton skinny she has those unfed sunken cheeks, a couple of dark scars, and the popped veins of tight skin.

Her boo is an older man missing a couple of lower teeth but is fairly clean. He wears a black vinyl windbreaker with some hip but failed designer label scrawled across the front and a baseball hat with that gold and silver size sticker still stuck on the brim. They are coming down to the hospital, which I know, because they keep talking about which stop to get off.

A friend of the skinny lady gets on and sits across from them. This friend looks to be in her late 60s, round in all places and with short bathroom sink cropped hair. This new older lady has big chunky headphones on  and is singing along to the worst gangster rap. She smells of beer or other assorted spirits. And maybe a hint of dryer sheets.

Anyway, the two ladies start talking.

Skinny: You seen Joyce?
Older: Maybe around, what for?
Skinny: I haven’t seen her in awhile.
Older: She still live across from me. I seen her the other day. She got herself some new shoes.
Skinny: Yeah? Where she get thems at?
Older: She shops at Marshall.
Skinny: You means she shop LIFTS at Marshall!
(Both break up into that high pitched crackle of fake laughter and sheer criminal delight).

The guy just shakes his head. Then worries about what stop we just passed.  Speaking of that guy, I just remembered, how he told a story about this third woman they all know. I will call her Rosalita-In-A-Wheelchair.

It seems Rosalita-In-A-Wheelchair is a tough little lady. She ran some man off into the road. She pushed up against him until he stepped right in front of a bus. The bus missed him, though.

Plus Rosalita-In-A-Wheelchair will get shit started. She might not be able to stand up, but she will knock you out cold!

Then there was the shelter story about how whenever ballcap man sees Rosalita-In-A-Wheelchair, he sticks his stuff across the hall near that white boy’s room. Whatever that means, logistically.

If he does not do this, he will wake up and find Rosalita-In-A-Wheelchair all with her fingers in his stuff.

“I didn’t know it was yours,” she will protest.

“Bitch that don’t mean it yours! DAMN!”

Again, everyone laughed. Including me.

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I burned the back seat upholstery of the station wagon, I jerked a cigarette that I was awkwardly pretending to smoke. With the tip of my chapped raw thumb, I pushed the ash back and forth, smearing the evidence and exposing the small pencil eraser sized burn.

This was Darya’s mom’s car. It might be months, if ever, before the burn was discovered. The immediate concern was the smell of cigarettes in the car. In the front seat, Aaron waved the billowing streams toward the cracked window.

The three of us had just made our way out of the Center Mayfield Movie Theater, in that slow way teenagers move – a cross between loitering and slow motion parade. We had seen a cheap showing of CROCODILE DUNDEE. Now we were aimlessly prowling the side streets of Cleveland Heights. Aaron wanted Darya to drive down to East 82nd street to see if it was open on Christmas night.

“You think they sell weed on Christmas or do they take the night off,” Aaron wondered over and over. Pestering Darya to make the short trip down Carnegie so he could get a refill. Instead, the station wagon bounced through the quiet streets, the pot hole radar working overtime. Under a seeming will of its own, the mom mobile navigated down Dreamy Bill’s street. Just a casual drive bye.

Then as we crept around a corner, Bill’s lanky form seemed to emerge from the squalling curtain of sidewalk snow, his olive green army coat pinched tight around his t-shirt and flannel layers. He flicked the Walkman headphones down, leaned in to see who and what was going on in Darya’s car. He reached over to slap hands with Aaron, then nodded to me, saying that he was just out “on my nightly constitutional.”

Aaron anxiously inquired if Bill thought East 82nd would be open tonight. Bill laughed and said, “Probably, but you know they aren’t like a store, dude.” A short conversation about partying followed, in which it became known that while Aaron fiended out, Bill was holding.

Just as plans were being laid out for the consumption of drugs, a beat up Volkswagen hippie van, slipped around the corner on bald tires and a puff of dirty black exhaust. Tom Poochie, the only kid in high school with a full chest length jesus beard, stuck his head out the window and yelled over the rumbling of the van’s engine. Bill walked over to talk to him.

A few seconds later, Tom and Bill sat on either side of me in the back seat. Aaron was turned around, sitting on his knees and arms draped over the headrest, talking excitedly. He really wanted to blaze up, immediately. But Darya and Bill brought the boom down on that idea. Explaining how the smell would just stick to the smooth velvety interior of the borrowed mom mobile.

Tom or Bill or Aaron suggested the junior high parking lot where the school district parked all the big yellow school buses, “Let’s smoke up on the bus, man.”

“How will we do that? Won’t the bus be locked?!”

“Dude, its illegal to have locks on school buses.”

“Really? Yeah, I guess that’s true, huh.”

Before anyone could second guess the idea, Darya popped the car over the curb speed bump, everyone bounced in their seat. She aimed the station wagon right between two long yellow buses and threw the car in park. Aaron burst from the car, racing around to meet Bill at the back emergency exit. They opened it and were inside the vehicle in one bound. Darya and I were last to step up and into the long aisle of green soft vinyl bucket seats.

I slid into the seat closest to the back door, Darya was a few rows up from me, I scribbled my finger into the steamed up window, tracing the parking lot lights refracted in the moisture. Tom, Bill and Aaron were shadows at the front of the bus. A small red ember passed between them. Neither Darya nor I participated in the party.

I remember thinking about the cops coming a second before I saw the silent red and blue flashes fill up the fogging windows of the cold bus.

I stepped down from the bus and stood by the break lights. A body shot out past me, whipped around the bus and was gone in a puff of Converse, slush, and a swish of black hair. I thought, for a morbid second, about pouncing on the wooden fence in front of me. But I was strapped into a back brace, still recovering from total spinal fusion. So I stood there. And waited.

There were police everywhere. They watched us pull in and waited long enough for us to manage to do what vandal harm we could manage before swooping in to handcuff us together. An out of breath police slammed Aaron into the side of the bus, panting, “Why’d you run, kid?”

The next few minutes oozed like sap from around a nail just hammered into an evergreen tree. No one admitted to knowing each other. No one owned up to the small pink plastic container of weed wrapped in a Saran wrap. When they loaded the boys into the back of a single cruiser, Bill reassured us that they couldn’t “do shit to us” and “not to say shit to them.” When we pulled into the University Heights police depot and we sat waiting for the police to unload us, Tom asked with a mischievous glee, “Anyone want to do a spoon?”

The next few hours, we sat in a glass enclosed waiting room. I sat on the only chair, my head above the window, staring at the various goings on in the station’s single room. Everyone else sprawled out on the floor. Most fell asleep. Eventually, the police pulled us out one by one and had us call our parents to come and get us. I think they waited until as midnight, just to try to get us into more trouble by waking our folks up.

Eventually, the whole nasty incident was mediated away since there was no damage to any property and well it was really very stupid. That did start the great Cleveland Treatment Migration though. Which is a whole other story.

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Last night, I took the dog out for a rare afterdark poop. It was around 10:15 pm or so. She had been stinkin’ up the room, so Noelle thought it best I run her out. Which was a good idea, because London really needed to go and go all gross. ICK!

Anyway, while we were outside, I saw a bunch of bright flashes. Snaps of light like a camera taking night time pictures. Thinking, immediately, that there were shenanigans afoot, probably of the most depraved perversity, I headed up toward the area where the intermittent strobe clicked.

As we got close to the Buchanan parking lot where our car stay at, and where the YMCA looms imposingly between the enclosed lot and the edge of the Dharma Initiative compound, I saw a whole mess of police. And, then, the yellow plastic tape, roping off most of the parking area and sidewalk. I stood looking at all the hustle bustle, wondering if I should edge around the tape to check on our little car. But as I was about to make my move, a plain clothes detective walked by with his badge swinging in the breeze.

I asked him if everything was okay and he simply replied, “Someone died tonight.”

After considerable searching on all the San Francisco news sites, I found out that Black Friday was more important than any sort of actual crime reporting. Eventually, while watching a rerun of the 10 o’clock news, I heard a reference to the Japantown shooting. (If you watch the video from this morning, you can see me and London walking down the street, just as the black car pulls out of the driveway.)

Sad news. Mos Def. But it got me thinking about all the other times, since I have moved out of my parent’s house, that I have moved into crime scenes.

For instance, a couple of months after Meghan and I moved into the 12th floor of 208 West 23rd in New York City, we opened the apartment door to find a whole SWAT team lined up against the walls. She made a little peep and spun on her heels, pushing me back into the apartment. The SWAT team was there busting a cocaine dealer who lived on the other side of the H-shaped floor as us. Which was good, because the hallway smelled like cocaine sweat ALL THE TIME and it was supergross.

Or the time, one morning, I was backing out of the Blanche Road house to find a DEA agent standing in my drive way holding a machine gun. There were Cleveland Heights Police cars and unmarked Federal cars blocking up the street and all the driveways. They were taking down the house two doors down from us – the house where the unattended girls lived. The ones that used to roam the streets all hours and got in and out of the house through an open driveway window. The girls’ whose mom was never home. Well, I guess their mom was never home because she was involved in a HUGE drug trafficking ring.

Crime is an inescapable part of living among peoples, I guess.

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Laguna Nightlight

Inca Lane, proper, is really just a sidewalk-cut through. One side is the front of our condo. The opposite side is a locked and fenced playground for Rosa Parks Elementary.

On either side of the sidewalk is a grassy area about the size of a tree lawn strip back East. (Everyone refers to any part of the country, not in California as “back east.” Its a weird thing, really).

Anyway.

Dogs poop everywhere. EVERYWHERE around our compound. We always scoop up the London Piles. This is not something I always did while walking her through Cain Park. Mainly because it was cold and snow covered it up pretty well. Plus, the park was so litter filled, I hoped some litter tossing kid would step in it and it would ruin his/her day.

I remember that the biggest fears of summertime during childhood were – in this order
1.) Bullies.
2.) Bees.
3.) Poop.

But I digress.

When London and I return from our morning constitutional, we always end with a stroll down Inca Lane. Well, today, someone had left white printer paper all along the grass. At first, I did not really pay it any attention, paper is always floating along the streets. But was we passed the first page, I noticed that there was a pile of poop in the folded over paper. Like all good citizens, I snapped to a blanket judgment about the state of homeless disregard in the area.

“What filthy…” I began my reactionary knee-jerking reverie, but then I noticed that all the papers had pooh on them. And there was writing on the paper above the pooh. It said something to the effect of –

“DOG OWNERS! Clean up after your dogs. There are children that play here and it is unsafe and unhealthy!”

Now, while I wholeheartedly agree with that, completely, the fact that someone had taken the time to print all those up really kind of bothered me. But the truly shocking thing, to me at least, was the fact that they, then, took the time to PICK UP THE POOP and neatly position it on the paper underneath the writing!

That’s looney tunes! And it really pissed me off. Why? I guess because if you are willing to handle the pooh to make a really grandiose and over the top statement, then why not just clean up all the poop? Because, in effect, what they did was to add litter to the poop. And frankly, the poop will disappear fast then the paper. And is probably better for the grass and trees and other growing things than bleached, chemical smeared pieces of printer paper.

And I hate to admit this, but if London had pooped right then. I would not have cleaned it up. Why? Because I am oppositionally defiant.

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