Upsetting
Saturday, February 21, 2004
 
In the shower of your home, you can hear the thudding bass from the wet street outside. It’s why you still live in the city, and why those who don’t’ll never get it. Your friend outside of town tells you that the bass from his neighbor’s stereo causes his coffee table to bounce off the floor.

But that’s just annoying, and they have that in the city, too.

The hot water keeps running like only a Saturday night shower can. The steams peels off as the water splashes into the drain. Your feet swell in the vapor. It’s at the point in the shower where you know it’s getting wasteful, and you think about the concept of conscience and accountability.

You think, screw it, I don’t have to pay the water bill – or do you.

Do you?

She wouldn’t like it if she knew you gave one of the dogs a single pretzel, not because of any other reason than you always say how dog food is for dogs and people food is for people. You wanna feed the dog pretzels, then you shouldn’t make such pronunciamentos.

So you don’t anymore, and it’s not a big betrayal if one of the dogs gets a single little pretzel. You didn’t give one to both of them.

The bass goes by again outside, and you think about the trouble in the Caribbean.

They pronounce it 80. So close, yet so dark, it seems.

Remember how the African herbsman told you about how Duppy and the rest of them went about upsetting in Trenchtown. They took you to a library afterward, learned you all about the Caribbean, and that’s how you came to understand why know one wants talk about it now.

They’re upsetting in the streets of Port-au-Prince. Another one of those great wet lands “discovered” by Columbus. It’s said that the Spaniards who followed annihilated the natives. Manifest destiny or something. A port of call for the Black Star shipping line.

Hit me with music.

Forget that and enjoy the bliss of the shower. The dogs are asleep in front of the heater – well, the more delicate of the two is.

Turn off the water and towel off. The advertising machine prattles on about the new taxpayer-funded stadium in town. Unlike any other they say.

Your favorite Padres have come out of mothballs to shill for the billionaire owner. Winfield, Gwynn.

And now they have the big man from Ocean Beach, David Wells.

It’s been a while since your last big one, but you’d get drunk with him. Tell him anywhere but OB, and you got a deal.

After a one-and-one, you could tell him the time you covered the story of his drunken street fight after last call. Not the one in New York, you’d clarify, the one right there in OB.

He’d laugh, slap you on the back with the force of a 260-pound man and tell you that boys’ll be boys. He’d go to the jukebox and play all of Beggars Banquet.

He’d tell you that’s him, a beggar at the banquet.

Then “Street Fighting Man” comes on and the upsetting in the streets starts all over again.

In Haiti.

In Ocean Beach.

In Trenchtown and Cincinnati and Geelong.

As one of the cops sorts things out, his partner looks at the scruffy Obceans gathered at the scene. It’s a high, high world.

You think, Does wearing a Bob Marley t-shirt constitute probable cause?
 
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