A Stupid Apology………..

Well,.. it’s more an apology for being entirely stupid. After having shelved this operation almost absolutely, or at the least for major spells of time, I completely forgot about the 80+ entries I had sitting in the trash folder potentially being lost for good if they dwelled there too long.

To which they did, and were.

That, is an unacceptable error on my behalf. Simply because of the documentation that was lost that will be impossible to recreate about people no longer with us and what their lives added to the world that far too few ever recant or share with the world any longer.

Forgive me, for being one of the most stubborn & most inane morons you will ever meet. Or not,.. that’s fine too, since I don’t see me forgiving myself anytime soon either.

~T.O.W.G.D. von Swine IVth.

Scholastics

Some things need to be referenced, even if they’re trivial, or somewhat trivial, or substantial. I’m completely going off of the board here and about to tell a story that has almost no gravity to it.

With my birthday being in January, I turned 18 in the 2nd half of my senior year in high school, with the end of the year and hopefully a diploma waiting. High school was somewhat of a troubled time (not complaining, just saying I got behind w/my credits, etc. and that was a LOT to try and clean up by school’s end) and after spending the 2nd semester of 10th grade-all of 11th grade at continuation school, I returned to the main campus to try and graduate w/the majority of chums I’d been growing up w/the past 5-6 years.

I wasn’t failing anything, I just wasn’t knocking off enough of the classes at the same pace as everyone else was across the fence at Venice Hi, so when I returned I had to do all 6 periods AND night school. Whatevs, see if I can make it happen,…

Well, I WAS making it happen, until one day it all completely disintegrated in the matter of ONE face-face w/the assistant principal that I knew had ZERO interest in what the fuck ever was going on w/me personally, OR my attempt at grinding myself back on track to graduate like planned.

Mr. Ed Russell was black, and I was a mohawked punker w/plenty of salty intentions whenever confronted by ANY adult, regardless of topic, or who/what their skin color was. Part of my attempted grind had me taking 3 commercial art classes w/1 in the morning, and the final two of the day 5th & 6th period. I got along quite well w/Mr. Elliot, swimmingly at times, but there was occasional friction since we were both fiery personalities but in almost completely opposite capacities. He was an aged French beatnik and understood (& even liked) the punker attitude I was too consumed with, and allowed for a LOT of wiggle room whenever it came to assignments/projects I wasn’t inclined to do as long as he heard the right reasons for my lack of inspiration. Also, I wasn’t a bad artist back then, and he was ok to see my energies work to my strengths on other assignments..

Anyways, he went on vacation for a week and was replaced be a real limp wristed, bitter, and failed art teacher who looked for ANY sign of dissention so he could send you out of class. By day three he was fed up w/me not doing the current task and came over to my desk to have some words. I told him about me & Mr. Elliot’s arrangement and he balked.

“Mr. Elliot’s not here” he said to me dryly, “And you need to start on this assignment now or you’ll get an F on the project & I’m sending you to the assistant principals office.”

“Mr. Elliot’s not here but it IS his class. When he gets back he’ll understand and you’ll be somewhere else. I’m not doing it.” Completely dismissing anything else he had to say about this impasse,….

“Ok, well then I’m writing you up and sending you to the Asst Principals office. Meet me at my desk.”

I instructed him to send me to Jacobs or Gebhardt, NOT Russel, which he did write on the referral, but to no avail, as they were not in the office, and Russel was…

Mr. Russel didn’t want to hear anything I had to say. I was white and was in a city where black youth were heavily involved in violent gangs, drugs, and high risk behavior far worse than I could ever dream of. And, he was somewhat right, I can say that black teenagers were prone to SO much more violence than I was due to the Oakwood/Ghost Town neighborhood and the VSLC gang that was NO joke, even if the set was small.. So cool, I get it, but go looking to make an example out of me to my face,.. I’m not taking that shit from ANYONE, regardless of me being 18 & he being like 45-50..

It boiled down to him insisting I do EVERY art assignment that passed thru my hands, and I said ‘no way’. He said that was ‘suspendible’. I said ‘are you an artist, have you EVER done any artwork in your life?’ Of course his answer was no, but this was my first REAL experience with me vs. the ‘Man’. Mr. Russel was the power that be, and I was the un-agreeable object that was completely unwilling to see his need to enforce and constrict me. But, he had to bring the hammer down in his eyes,.. and when you decide that IS the right decision, then you don’t bring it down lightly…

Now, he didn’t actually suspend me, but that’s because I wouldn’t give him the pleasure as I reminded him of my age and that I was going to straight up walk out of that school and leave him, and ALL of my hard work to try and better myself thru sticking w/my 6 periods AND night school hanging if he didn’t budge and returned me to my class free to do, or not do whatever fucking art assignment I chose being so close to the finish line (this was in April-almost May, and school ended in June.)

He refused, and said I was free to go home for the day after the bell rang(as there was only 6th period left).

The bell rang and I left,.. for the 2nd to last time, but the last time as an attending student, since I returned to ‘sign out’ of all of my classes and say one last farewell to my teachers and staff that were actually halfway decent to me that last year I tried to make it happen.

My report card was 5 F’s and 1 D-. Not sure what that adds up to numerically, but….

Now there’s still a hint or tinge of racial tension in the air on this one, and I’m not denying that. I wanted Mr. Russel to see my problems as a white kid to be just as valid as all of those high risk black youth he coveted so fucking much(and that were my friends), but he wouldn’t. He didn’t care about my mom’s cancer battles and ensuing/ongoing drug addiction from the methadone, etc. He didn’t care that I got hit by a car in 10th grade which sent me off the rails and into continuation school because I was paralyzed w/pain from my spine (literally) being bent out of shape for 3 months, and wasn’t even ABLE to walk to school anymore. I had fainting spells and would walk home after 2nd period since I was BLIND w/pain. It was gnarly..

And I wouldn’t see him either,.. But then I wasn’t supposed to, I was the student that HE was supposed to help irregardless, so fuck him. This is an axe I will ALWAYS grind even if it’s 30 years later and just showed that I’ve always been somewhat impossible to deal with whenever I get irate or feel entitled. Which can be quite regularly… lol.

Anyways, I signed out of high school on ‘principle’ because the assistant principal was a complete dick at the worst time for me and all of my hard work that ended up dashed onto the rocks of stubbornness.  Cliché is not cliché whenever it’s accurate, but I have to say; story of my life.

Look, I prolly made a HUGE mistake in flaming the substitute teacher AND Mr. Russel both, whereas who knows what upside would’ve come from me calming down, lying to them about the assignment, or just mailing it in and taking a low grade, etc.. I might’ve actually fucking graduated on time…

But I didn’t because that’s NOT me… I’m aggressive and contentious and extremely volatile whenever challenged on an issue where I feel I have a leg to stand on, so again, fuck those guys. I grew up in Venice and got infected with that ‘war all the time/survival mode’ mindset to a degree that has caused MANY things in my life to blow up in my face. Now, I’ve also blown up in other peoples faces too, and leveraged many people who where/are miles above me in terms of success, wealth, status, etc., which I couldn’t have done if I didn’t stay true to these aggressive bones in my body.

What did we learn here?

  1. I’m not a high school dropout, I’m a high school sign out..lol.

2. Ed Russel can(STILL) go fuck himself.

3. I will argue and fight tooth & nail, and to the absolute bitter end if I feel I’m being wronged, even if it sets me back enormously.

4. I’m from Venice, Ca. From a special time that will never be the same there, or any of the other unique parts of L.A., Hollywood, San Pedro, Long Beach, Inglewood, etc. There was a different risk to being on and around the streets back then, and it was for SURE waay more grimy and wide open..

5. I went to night school as a teenager. ~O_o~

It’s pretty apparent I was never meant to tackle higher scholastics, as I don’t possess the attention span, I.Q., nor disposition to tolerate those in the position of teaching and or,assistance in ANY type of head-head disagreement. So therefore I became a lifelong alcoholic en route to a 15 year tenure making dirty movies, which (and I say this in ALL earnest) is WAAY more suited to my temperament and inherent shortcomings.

This has been a(sort of) nice trip down memory lane, and has done wonders to remind me what a complete bastard I am whenever I get really riled up, ornery. Perniciousness as a virtue I say…. and say it loudly. Goodnight,  ~ von S.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Backwards Into Horror….

Remember when Pulp Fiction went by the 1st time & Travolta died, and then reappeared as if he didn’t get cut in half by Bruce Willis’ machine gun(well, it was Johnny’s machine gun till Bruce picked it up..)? It was like, wtf just happened??..

Ohh I get it, this movie presented it’s chapters in a 1-3-2 sequence.. Ok, is that brilliant, or is it just Quentin being avant-garde?

Prolly the latter..

Whatever, it was his movie, and he finally was on the map so, “Bully for that nigga…” (S. Jackson in ‘Jackie Brown’)

What I’m going to finally post here is chapter 2 from something I wrote down 15+ years ago I had called the ‘Trilogy of Terror’ which was a 3 part reflection on Donna and the month of May as the years were going by..

What finally pushed me off the cliff was an unexpected chat w/my buddy Miguel at the Japanese spot I frequent about Donna, whom he’d never known about (at least not in any detail). So,… it hurt comin home… I was feeling some very deep bruises that were avoided for the most part last month due to the injury that substantially kept my focus on physical pain management for the better part of 2 1/2 weeks, and not emotional, heartfelt variety.

Some stories you can only tell a certain way,.. only with detail and conviction, even if you can keep channeling the return to the moments that destroyed you ultimately at bay, which I did quite well up until the very end.. The very end it snuck through and I trembled a bit in reflection of my worst tragedy. You hop in the truck at 1 a.m. on those dark streets to head home and you get crushed a little bit, even after 20 years of obliteration and hardening of every layer of your hearts tissue.. No matter how far gone you were or how hard things have become, your eyes are still going to water because you still love her, and she’s still dead…

Let this entry be a potential spring board back into sharing stories,…. I never write/punch the keys when I’m happy and I need to come to terms with that and to terms with not worrying about what any of you think/feel about that. People want to read, even if it’s nothing… If someone were to write 40 years of nothing but a mundane existence, it would be fascinating/riveting in it’s own right.. And yet here I hem & haw about sharing a life of ONLY high & low in fears that I won’t write anything worth remembering. I shouldn’t care, I know that.

But I’m caught in between caring and not… I’ve been stuck there for 20 years.

The journey backwards into horror begins soon, but not tonight since the toll will poison me for days as I’ll drink everything in sight should I choose to tussle with the demon who penned my life’s most cruel act…. Not tonight, but soon.

No more from the middle, only from a slighted angle. Only sharp edges and pointed ends. Barbed-wire & belt-sanders.

Soon…. I promise.  ~ T. von

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Children of The Sea…..

There’s not many of us, a finite number, with the ranks thinning as days/years come & go. The product of a vacuum of time & culture between 1965-1985, those of us born & raised, or even just raised in Venice Ca., are of a different breed.

I wouldn’t be this toxic monster had I not hatched out of that surf ghetto, living in the ocean pre-Heal The Bay and always getting ear infections since there were no warnings or postings of high bacteria or nuclear waste levels then.

Public school & gangs, divorce, backyard keg parties, violent gigs all over town, everyone be it friend/family strung out on something, friends dying or getting killed… And all of the same for most of your friends in their households… It was the realization that the post WWII America was COMPLETELY dead and gone, and now no matter your skin color, everything in California was a free for all from there on out. Don’t be too soft or too trusting to anyone…

As I near 50 I’m just as untrusting & judgmental.

Wary of those around me as I entered XXX many years ago, that’s only intensified as all of my presumptions came to the surface around me like being in the lineup surrounded by pieces of styro-foam and plastic bottles as you scrape to make it outside and not get pounded by the oncoming set. I knew it was toxic, and I still paddled out anyways…. That’s what we all did, because for some stupid reason we all lived in survival mode, never believing any of us were going to be able to taste success or wealth, or even just basic day-day adult security that people you didn’t like or align with all seemed to have.

When you don’t believe something is for you, then you’re never going to have it.

I don’t believe in any of the people around me in XXX. I don’t believe in myself. I don’t know that I have ANY belief left,… mostly just bitterness and jealousy and contempt.

Yes I drive people away too fast. Yes I’m lonely. Yes I’m venomous. And yes I do look into the mirror and see who’s to blame.

The jellyfish sting you when they touch you regardless, no matter your station in this world. The waves pound you without mercy because you’re there inside them like liquid concrete, punishing you like nothing else on this planet. The riptide abuses you relentlessly, forcing you out, or away, or under, because it can & will. The seagulls take the food from your blanket, attended or not because it’s theirs too. The dolphins move through you with confidence, frivolity, power & majesty in their pods, or even as lone nomads, reminding what wizardry underneath the water is, personified.

The children of the sea are not concerned if they’re wrong, or venomous, or too powerful…. They are of a different breed and they have to write their own rules as they exist, even if that means demise….

Should I ever touch the ocean again I might grow 20 ft. tall, and yet I might dissolve like a sand castle that was never really there in the first place…

Don’t forgive me for anything I ever do, or don’t do. You know where I’m from and what I’ve always been,…

~

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is, is What is….

Twenty years ago I was standing besides the grave that Donna had just been lowered into as people came by to throw dirt & pay the last of respects, when Anni, Mike’s mother, put her hand on my shoulder & said, “It gets easier”…

In twenty years I don’t know if much of anything has gotten easier, but that’s not anyone’s fault, and Anni still wasn’t wrong in her assurance. My trail of tears sure hasn’t stopped, but I am still here, and it is because I never forget something honest and heartfelt that’s said or given to me, like she did as I stood there over Donna’s coffin, my life in absolute ruin.

She meant well, and it did help, if even only today, exactly twenty years later to the day. Thank you Anni, and Mike, and Glen,… you were(are still) some of my sturdiest of crutches, and prove that only(mere) words can sometimes ground me, and remind me that what is, is what is, and tomorrow is just something I have to make it to no matter how crestfallen or despondent I may be on the inside.

We make it to tomorrow, until we can’t. When I can’t, it won’t matter if you don’t forgive me. Because what is, will be what is for you, and you’ll take that into tomorrow until…

The funeral is over, and the grave covered. For twenty years. ~

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not a Word….

Not one,.. do I want to speak about today. What it is, what was, what it has done, what it represents. I’m over it, and yet I never will be. See, I AM trying to heal. But healing does NOT mean moving on like all of you suggest or believe, that’s never been how it works. ‘Moving on’ from your heart is basically impossible, but I’ll let you ponder that on your own time/terms, unless you happen to find out directly(which is rough, trust me).

For 20 years this day has done me so many ways, but for the 20th year to be paired w/Mother’s Day it was almost too cruel to be true. Either way, my tearing my hip flexor back on the 3rd put me in SO much pain, that it served as a direct buffer and distraction from this heartache that was hanging over me like a crow on a wire, waiting his turn to haunt me. Agony vs. agony,.. that’s been the true solution this whole time?

Of course…

Goodbye May 14th, you’re gone for another year. And even though I say this to myself EVERY year, I’ll say it aloud this time, that I don’t care if I never see you again.

My loved ones don’t mean to haunt me, they still love me as much as I them, but our love is connected to where they are now through a mournful loss, leading me, to actually haunt myself.

Sure, I’m my own ghost story. You’re not and good for you. As far as May 14th goes I’d rather not say another word about it. Not now, not…..

Goodbye Donna, goodbye Moms,… I love you both, endlessly.

~T.von

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Fusion of Confusion

 

My attention span isn’t great right now, but lets see if I can still make this happen since I’m trying to avoid writing off of inspiration and switch to writing off of concrete feelings, emotions, memories, or events. This is going against my attempts to stop writing from the middle, where I tend to be too fair, or considerate. I really don’t want to write that way anymore…

On Sunday I/we hit 20 years… Sunday is also Mothers Day, so that’s a nice touch that needed to be acknowledged.

I think what I’m MOST tired of is how other people process MY pains and tragedies all these years on, regardless of how long they’ve been in my life. I’m tired of hurting too. I’m also tired of wanting to quit, but I still do. I don’t find joy anywhere… Now, so what, grow the fuck up Swiney, tens of millions of people have it worse than you do, or ever did. Well, newsflash; I don’t care about those tens of millions of people…

I cared about Donna, and she fucked up and died. And I told myself a couple of years post tragedy that I wasn’t ever returning to being a regular guy again because comin’ home to anyone but her wasn’t going to cut it. I could suffer with her. I could lose fights and get my nose broken & have two black eyes for a week when she was around. I can’t with anyone else… I saw those movies, and no offense, those women just couldn’t find a way to be my best friend. Tough shoes to fill, for sure, probably impossible,.. but so what. That became the standard, and it remained, forever cursing me in my life’s endeavors of the heart…

Well until last year when I fell in love w/a married gal… who couldn’t and WOULDN’T be mine (more importantly), again dashing me headlong onto the rocks of loneliness and despair. This wasn’t a blessing or curse this time around though, it just was, and it has added to my continued existence of extremes, which is all I’ll ever know…

On the 405 today I had Donna come through my mind because of what was on the stereo, only it didn’t pull on my heartstrings. The muscles are overdeveloped around my heart and have only the thinnest of cracks to sneak thru.. When they do it goes ALL the way to the center, and that hurts,.. but this didn’t, it was just more acknowledgement of what was, and who I’ve become 20 years A.D.

I’m someone who struggles internally. I struggle often,..daily at times. My depression IS real, even if only I say so, since I know how suffocating it is, and I will make no apologies for my weaknesses.. I’m completely over any concern or worry you might have of me still wallowing, or copping out, because I get through my day how I need to. And if I have to take things out of every set of hands around me to get by, then I will. If I have to slouch on this 40 year old mattress 5 days a week, then I’m going to do that too, since that’s the only way I’ve been able to survive my heart being decimated from the moment I received that phone call from Emily on May 14th that she was dead..

Sometimes I can feel how tired you get of my grieving, or of my cloud that can appear out of nowhere to make it seem that all I have to cling to is tears, and sob stories. But look, I can’t apologize for any of that, that would be betrayal, and would have made the 20 year penance pointless, devalued. So I won’t,… I’ll just leave this statement here for you to digest as I near starting a new chapter in my life now that my porno ‘career’ has all but died, leaving me few, if any options left that will keep me out of the grasp of the regular world again, which I know will destroy me, much like it was doing back in 2003…

~

The epiphany I had that day at Emmanuel Jones’ pool told me too much, and still tells me clearly, why I had to depart normalcy.. A clock, boundries, expectations, confinements, routes, structure,… ALL had become completely toxic to me on all levels, and I needed to bolt before I finally did something drastic, which I would have. I was not far from my first 3-4 day hangover in 2003, and had I not had porno to remain somewhat in control for, would’ve seen the alcohol & Xanax/codeine/Vicodin levels remain above the water line. I was still angry then, and not quite aware of what was eating at me a few layers under the surface, which was the growing realization that ‘joy’ was no longer in my life, and henceforth was creating a new plateau of despair, humiliation, and self loathing.

The real/regular world was crushing me, causing paranoia and anxiety, and making me question why I was even still alive? Outside of not wanting to upset/depress people I couldn’t find a reason(to not kill myself/O.D.). Surely I had no purpose. But deep down, I don’t want to die. On the ‘Damaged’ LP the track ‘What I See’ has a line where Henry says,

“I wanna live, I wish I was dead.”

Completely caught in the middle of a realization… The fusion of confusion.

That day I decided jettison everything possible in my life leading up to my hand touching the gate, because I knew I couldn’t play the game straight up anymore.. The real world was winning, and me walking away from it, NEVER participating in it again, was my only hope.

I was right… and still am.

I’m not coming back. Donna’s not coming back. The woman who’s still alive that I fell in love with isn’t coming back. NOTHING is coming back. So the plan stays the same; take everything from everyone every chance and every opportunity. Outperform when possible. Out think/outfox everyone when outrunning and defeating the strong isn’t an option.

How do you think I’m still here, and able to write this? I only win when I have to.

My Moms’ is talking too much here, sending me all of this vigor and pugnacity from the other side. Getting hurt last week has been a real reminder of how old I’m getting, and how close I am to absolute peril if I get hurt again at the wrong time since I have NO savings, NO real income, NO health insurance, NO one to bail me out.. It’s all I’ve ever known though, how do you change that? You don’t, it changes you.

That’s all for now…. – T.von

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Winter Has Come….

It is that time once again. All of the songs that remind you of who’s gone appear without ever appearing. They are part or your synapse so deep where it’s the only place the heart & brain can connect to catalogue only that which is entirely tragic, or entirely joyous.

Did I really survive 20 years of this? Is what’s left of me 20 years later even considered surviving??

Winter has come and with it it’s harrowing tales of history that even the deepest oceans of alcohol could not re-write… We CAN believe what we want. And we can again be reprimanded in the cruelest of fashions by absolute truth.

Donna Carol Presba is still dead. And I’ve never been the same since….

I wish……

None of it is working. Not the escape. Not the solutions. Not the creativity. Not the drugs. Not the resolve.

I wish it were easier to actually quit once and for all instead of all of this slamming of my face repeatedly into concrete, year in-out.

I wish, I wish, I……