Clinton St. Quarterly, Vol. 7 No. 4 | Winter 1985 (Seattle) /// Issue 14 of 24 /// Master# 62 of 73

BODY This was always the time Ifelt the very best; just getting out of somewhere, standing barefoot on some warm concrete with the sun boiling up and feeling there’s something in my life just about’ to come clear, or else another great time turning up. ■if By John Sinclair PAINTING BY GREGORY GRENON Me and Kyle Delgado were down at Malibu watching a really great batch of girls, watching their breasts, especially, and their hips, but Kyle had this problem. We’d been fooling around, digging in the sand, and he let me bury him up to his neck; when he saw that the girls were ticking their tongues and rolling their eyes at him, naturally he wanted out, but I’d packed the sand down tight and he couldn’t move. He was at my mercy. It was completely funny, I thought, but Delgado hissed at me to start digging or else, and he listed off ahuge number of threats. I crossed myself. “Buried alive,” I said, “You’re, just buried alive.” He looked like a football on a kicking tee out there, and people started cracking up. Kyle’s language got so foul that the lifeguard comes over, acting like God’s gift—I knew this prick—and I thought, oh boy, and brought my right around real clean and coldcocked him so hard he did a half turn at least before hitting the sand. There’s always some luck in a movie punch like that, so I’ can’t claim all the credit. But now that brings over five or six of these Auzzies we’d had afew words with earlier, and here’s my buddy Kyle, like a stump on the freeway, waiting for these gumsuckers to kick a field goal with his head. Since I figure I’m a dead man anyway, I just call them all pencil-dicked kangaroos, or something, and step back a ways, shaking out my pecs and upper arms like a free-styler does on the starting blocks. This doesn’t impress them a bit. In fact, they check the odds, see Delgado watching them all, wide-eyed like someone’s coming at him with a flaming stick, and basically start laughing. So I don’t care at that point, I say, “It sure is funny, ” and go to slug the guy closest to me, aiming right for the glob of zinc oxide on his nose. But I miss on his flinch, and on my follow-through I see a guy pushing sand into Kyle’s mouth, saying, “Taste good, hey.. .taste real good, ya bloody little poofter?” Even though he was a medical doctor my father liked to bash a person now and then. His first and middle name was the same as mine, Martin John, and that’s what I always called him, and I once got to see him deck a guy who tried to spank me at a picnic. I’d hit the man’s table with a water balloon, which is what started all the trouble. Martin John stacked his face excellently, and, as if to explain the whole thing, said to me, “Don’t ever let anyone touch you, son.” The weird thing about the picnic was, after the man’s wife dabbed at his swollen mouth with a paper napkin and he glowered for a bit, his family and everybody went on with the festivities. He and Martin John were even on the same side in a softball game and the whole bit, as if nothing had ever happened. Anyway, with the setup the way it was, me and Kyle were going to meet a serious death with these queers at Malibu. But out of nowhere two crewcut bulls wade in there with their arms straight out, dangling LD.s like crucifixes in everybody’s faces. They were the nares that cruise the beach undercover in their green swimsuits and shades, obvious as hell, and they arrested me and Kyle for attempted mayhem or something, with Kyle getting a citation for the half-ounce of water-logged dope they found in a pocket of his cutoffs. But we had a great time in the can, staying up damn near all night telling the thing over and over, and me sliding off the bunk to act it out. We laughed so hard I spit up the corn dog I ate that day, just to the back of my throat, and then couldn't sleep because of the hiccups. Next morning they asked us, didn't we think we were a bit too old for this sort of horseshit, and I said, “That’s for sure, gentlemen, no kidding.” And they let us go. Kyle took off for his job, and I stepped back to appreciate the day and figure a course of action. This was always the time I felt the very best; just getting out of somewhere, standing barefoot on some warm concrete with the sun boiling up and feeling there’s something in my life just about to come clear, or else another great time turning up—something I can’t see out there that’s going to be excellent. All it takes is making the decision, right or left or straight ahead, and letting it come on. I’m not saying I’ve had nothing but pure fun. There was a summer right after my parents’ death when I didn’t have any good friends and almost no plan; I’d just shaken loose from some Sherman Oaks nut house, stayed with good ol’ Sis in a foster home for about three and a half seconds, split without a word, and slid into my usual beach for the sun and surf cure, the only cure. Which meant getting my form back and looking super handsome, and trimming some waves and trying to rub bacon with as many beautiful wahinis as I could, but not having the time of my life or anything. I had this weird place I slept in, or under, a boardwalk-type deal around a surfboard rental shop I worked in a few hours a week. They didn’t know I was under there, naturally. It was also the hiding place of choice whenever the cops or the county people came sniffing. The sand Clinto n St. Q u a rt e rl y Clinto n St. Q u a rt e rl y