Hi Sweetheart! The world may be turning and sands may be
falling through the hourglass but there's no reason you can't turn back time and re-live the
hootin' and hollerin' from the '98 Northwest Tour. Peruse the logbook, judge everyone's actions and
file it away in your moral handbook.
The log entires are now listed
chronologically so you can wear out your scrolling finger looking for that special moment on Day Nine
when Sheila's make-over plans are hatched. Also, go check out the updated '98 Summer Tour Log, it has
stellar stories and Judas Priest lyrics to blame for your actions!!
DAY ONE, on the road to Seattle -- Michelle Tea
Greetings from a very green, very tree-filled rest stop somewhere in Washington state. Max the dog is taking one last pee after charming all the elderly travelers heading for the bathrooms, Lynnee is starting up the van and we're off! We left San Francisco yesterday and drove all night to be here, getting pulled over twice in the process. Poor Harriet was behind the wheel both times and let me tell you she was hardly doing anything wrong. The first time she simply tossed her cigarette butt out the window, not realizing that we were in Oregon and it's fire season and the beige landscape we were driving through was not sand dunes like we thought they were, it was actually extremely dry grass that would burn up quicker than a mall chick with a head full of Aqua Net given the chance. Mr. Officer was actually fairly nice to us considering Harry didn't have her licencse and actually had to hand over her ID from her freshman year of high schoool as proof of exsistance. He gave her a ticket for "Tossing Burning Material Onto A Roadway", which, as Harriet pointed out, made it sound like we were gleefully hurling burning napkins out the window or something.
A little later on in the night I was attempting a nap in the back of the van, half-aware that we were pulling into a gas station, when all of a sudden there are those whirly blue & red lights flashing on the back windows and some asshole guy barking "Is it M'am or Sir" at Harriet. After the femmed-out summer tour it sure is nice to be back in the gender confusion swing of things! Turns out the problem was we didn't have our 'licensce plate light' working, a charge we decided is the fake infraction cops use to pull over big funky vehicles decorated with devil punk rock and gay flag stickers and inhabited by scruffy looking kids with fucked up hair and tattoos. Mr. Man of course needed to know all about where we were headed and why, and Harriet proudly informed him that we were PERFORMERS on our way to Bumbershoot, a very prestigious arts festival in Seattle! Lots Of Famous People Are Performing At It, Harriet told him. "Oh yeah like who?" the cop skeptically asked. Um . . . . Sini, What Famous People Are Performing? harriet asked, and half-asleep Sini spat Reba MacIntire!, which is a total lie but the cop was suitably impressed, saying "She's pretty famous", to which Sini responded She Sure Is, and we were allowed to get our gas and go. Jeez.
For all the concern and fear around us taking our little sideshow through the south, I have to say the Pacific Northwest is a good deal scarier. Sure there's Seattle and Portland and all those cool hubs of alternative culture, but to get there you have to haul your ass through creepy militiaville, places that voted for that anti-queer measure on the Oregon ballot a few years back, places that have had a lot of high-profile violence against queers like the women's land that got burned down and of course the two dykes who were killed in Medford. We're only a couple hours outside of Seattle and it will be good to get there and check out all the amazing bands who are performing at this festival that we are so lucky to have been invited to.
I guess that's all for now. I'm a little sleep deprived and we are right now passing a big billboard that says CHRIST DIED TO SAVE SINNERS. In case any of you were wondering. Jesus died for somebody's sins, but not mine . . . . .
Love, Your Friend,
DAY TWO - Seattle
Live From The Sheraton -- Michelle Tea
OK maniacs, check it out we're being put up in the goddamn SHERATON in the heart of shee-shee downtown Seattle across from FAO Schwartz. And I can't stop watching MTV. It's a real problem. In fact I think I need to give you a MTV Review, but before I do that I'll just let you know what's going on. Yesterday me & Sini hit the Bumbershoot Festival and we had no idea what a big smashing Occasion it is. Like, carnival rides & street performers and millions of different fun things and tons & tons of people. I really love carnivals and big festivals so I was immediatly thrilled and we went to see Mecca Normal but didn't stay for the whole thing because it was in this kind of dour and serious little theater and I was too revved up though they were really good, the lady with her intense howling voice and the guy with his glasses strapped to his head with one of those nedry sports straps, doing all these nutty Pete Townsend guitar moves like jumps and the swinging arm thing. We went to see Unwound but they were cancelled so that was sad. Mostly we hung out in the 'Beer Garden', renamed the 'Frat Garden' because of all the huge muscley guys in khakis and baseball hats with tiny little fake tattoos on their beefy arms, having the nerve to stare & laugh at me & Sini as if WE were the ones having a fasion crisis. i am soooo shur. Anyway we ended up at some tiny punk club and then tried to go to the 'dyke fetish party' we heard about but really it was a play party and not only did we really not want to 'play', we also looked really scuzzy, our breath was bad and it cost $50 besides. So we went to some bar that used to be cool but isn't anymore and then went home to the Sheraton and I fell asleep waiting for Marilyn Manson to come on MTV like Kurt Loder promised. Is this lackluster?
I'm sorry you guys - there haven't been any bar brawls or run ins with the law today! We are so behaved. But today was our first show and it was pretty incredible. i mean we've never performed here before so I wasn't expecting much but there ended up being a line around the corner, the fire marshall showed up, we got a standing ovation and all the girls totally rocked, so it was pretty triumphant. What else . . . I ate a BBQ pork sandwich and corn on the cob. Hung out in the beer garden some more - OH! Met this super nice guy Claude who is a truck driver with a 17 year old daughter who really likes us and he arranged to get a run to Seattle in his truck so his daughter could see us! they came all the way from New York which is kind of unbelieveable, and his daughter was this really cute blue haired girl who writes tons of poetry and if you're reading this Jenn send me some cause I want to read it!
Basically all day before the show I sat in bed watching MTV and eating overpriced room service hamburgers that weren't very good. There was a lot of Marilyn Manson on MTV and I'm currently obsessed with Marilyn Manson so that made me happy. I am such a fan. Like I'm just waiting for something famous to affix myself to and worship and right now it's Marilyn Manson and (shamefully) Natalie Imbruglia. MTV has this show where they run the lyrics to the song at the bottom of the screen so now I know all the words to "torn". Which natalie did not write, I learned today also on MTV and I felt very emotionally cheated & manipulated because she sounds so sincere singing about lieing naked on the floor and really Natalie has probably never lied on the floor naked and so she has no business singing about it. You can see I'm very resentful. A sweet girl named Emily said we can come over her parent's house Thursday and watch the video music awards thank god. You'd think I've never seen a tv but really there is something so exciting and decadent about watching cable in a hotel room. Really there is something so decadent about just being in a hotel room, especially one as nice as this one. Very weird.
OK everyone has gone to sleep except me and I want to get up very early and hit the festival and check out all the rock and roll shows, so I should get in bed, wait for one more Marilyn Manson clip and pass out . . .
Love, Your Friend, Michelle
DAY THREE - Seattle
Bumberpooped -- Michelle Tea
Hello again from room 718 at the Sheraton. I awoke today full of intention and motivation and despite that I still missed Karp at the festival because I sunk back into the quicksand bed in my room and cozily started um watching tv and reading. I think I need a vacation, I don't know why else I would be plagued with this lethargy here at such an exciting place. I did eventually leave, we all hiked down to the monorail which just makes me think of that Simpsons episode, and smuggled Max the dog on board inside Harriet's Zo bag with a sweatshirt draped over his obedient little head. This is also how Max enters and exits the Sheraton. It's like he understands how contraband he is and does his part to help out, docile little puppy lieing low deep in the dark bag.
Anyway, I quickly chowed a blackened salmon burger and dashed off to see Eric Bogosian. I really liked him when I was in high school, he was like all I knew about performance, him Sandra Bernhard and Karen Finley. It was kind of a let down. All my friends are much better performers, talking kind of about the same topics but way smarter, bringing it down to a deeper or more real level while Bogosian woos the Gap crowd who thinks he's really telling it like it is. He was like a bitter Seinfeld, or, Sini said, an Andrew Dice Clay for the 90s. Very stand-up. So then I left early to catch Modest Mouse but a very mean security guard informed me that it was full, and I almost started crying and realized if some dickweed security guard was provoking such an extreme reaction from me I was obviously too emotionally unstable to be at such a gargantuan event. Like lollapalooza crossed with Michigan, a virtual village of paloozers, way too many people. I tried to get a wristband for the Morphine show but they were full already so I just hopped the monorail back to the hotel and flipped on my old friend mtv. Then Sini showed up with some preppy clothes she bought at the Levi's store, she pulls off outfits like that quite well. She is pleased with and proud of her purchases.
Tonight we are determined to get into a bar brawl so we have something exciting to report to you. Just kidding!!! I would like to meet a celebrity or something though. Joan Baez? She's gotta be around here somewhere . . .
Love, Your Old Fart Friend,
DAY Four - Seattle
Much Better, Thanks -- Michelle Tea
Hello and first let me Apologize for my super cranky email yeasterday! It was like I had PMS but I didn't, I guess just the ever-fluctuating estrogen levels common to being a chick, I don't know what to blame it on but my mood is much brighter today, thanks, and sorry if I sounded like I was against the little chickeebabes with the hemp necklaces and tank tops - I've actually been startled by how sophisticated and hip the the female fashion at Bumbershoot has been. it's like the city of Seattle is stocked with attractive people. It's kind of wierd. Do they hire models to fill the city during events when a lot of out-of-towners are around? Even like Jocks and people I usually think are gross are, well, still gross but a kind of cute type of gross.
But anyway let me get away from shallow fashion and talk about art. Madigan rules. She rocked the CLASSICAL stage so fucking hard with her gorgeous wailing voice, accompanied by Sherry on the big ass stand up bass, they were fabulous humble divas and even if I didn't see anyone else it was worth it to see Madigan getting the classical people singing Prince in the elegant theater. And when she broke her string she stood up on a block and started shreiking - just like when Beth Lisick forgot her lines at Meow Mix! Obviously the thing to do when you're floundering is to stand on something tall. I'm learning a lot.
Anyway it was back to party in the hotel and recreationally use nasal spray, my new thrill. Today we had another big show, 500 people, lovely people who appreciate spoken word and are not easily offended, we love each and every one of them! Really Bumbershoot is the best shows we've ever had, and the best we've ever been appreciated. They've got the resources and they're sharing it with lil' ol' us and we really are grateful. Breedlove preaching castration to a room full of really mixed people and they loved her. Excellent.
Anyway, me and Sini went and hung out at the beer garden by the reggae stage and it was very One Love and and friendly with chicks in patchwork skirts doing that dance and it was closest I've ever been to a Dead show and it was pleaseant. Oh shit everyone here at the hotel is sick of listening to 80s music on the alarm clock radio and they're trying to get me to go. To the dyke bar. they've all been argueing about chemical castration to the tune of Cars by Gary Neuman. Time to go. Drinking cocktails and smoking. earlier Sini tripped on the rug in the lobby, as if they all weren't staring at us anyway. She was graceful in the face of it all and didn't spill her drink. What else? They're leaving on me right now . . .we love Seattle, more soon . . .
Love, yer pal,
DAY Five - Vancouver and Seattle
Hello here we are in the home of possibly the cutest punk rock chickies in Seattle! Feeding us BBQ & letting us watch the MTV video awards on their big TV while their cute floppy dog Feral licks everyone and tries to get busy with Shoshana. Today we woke up in the slummiest residential hotel in Vancouver, riches to rags & back to normal for the SPIT chicks. After spending hours clearing every shred of evidence that we are performers from the van, calling Sash back in SF to see where she hid the pot so the border dogs don't sniff it out, after much paranoia and deciding what we would do in the case of a cavity search (only me & Sini pledged to brave the anal probe for the sake of bringing our literature to the people) we were waved across the Canadian border without even having to show a single piece of ID! Jeez.
So we arrived in Vancouver with no merch & no Max! Woof woof sad woof. But the show was rad, in a little gay disco and after we retired to the sweet, run-down hotel upstairs for some pizza & beer with the bartender. Some bad tv, an 80s USA Network type movie and then we slept past check out and annoyed the maids, sorry! Getting back into Amerika was harder big shocker, we had to report to a desk to show ID but they didn't search the van. Good thing since we had all those chopped up dead bodies in the back! Anyway, here we are digesting yummy food and everyone is watching the Jerry Springer Uncensored video in the other room and I think it's time for me to torture you with more pop culture and review the MTV Video Awards! OK for me it was all about Marilyn Manson and he did not disappoint. He looked so pretty with his new haircut, and totally inspired me to give in to Sini's vision of my new look, and I am mentally preparing to go under Shoshana's scissors and, with Sini's direction, let her shear me a new 'do. I think Marilyn is going to lead us out of all this crap, all this Matchbox whatever Fastball Green Day Ben Folds Five boring blocky dour rock music that is killing the spirit of rock n roll. Fucking with gender & drugs a la Bowie being a freak being sexy and not giving a shit it is up to glam to save us since punk has been so co-opted. And glam has always been about freaks & decadence. It's like the 70s right before punk broke, something has to come & kill this mediocre bullshit. OK enough. Marilyn marry me. He was at our Vegas show last year & bought some Bearded Lady shit off Harrie and I didn't even know! Shit. Madonna oh please I am seeing 8 year old girls wearing bindis and it's all your fault please stop. What is she thinking. Now she's slumming in India, will she please go back to Detroit? She needs to get back to her roots. Don't forget the motor city. All the girls were mad at me for making fun of her The-Rain-In-Spain-Falls-Mainly-In-The- Plains accent while accepting the 2 million awards she probably didn't deserve really. Though I do like that song & that video, particularly when she twitches & smashed her forehead into the camara. We all thought her tits looked great and absolutely not silicone while watching her dance in her little wife beater.
DAY NINE (?)--Portland to Ashland
Interview with Michelle and Tara
Ok Hi long time no see! But now that we've been released from our posh prison and we're back in the van and zooming around, now that we're actually living again it's been hard to seize the laptop and tell you all what different tiny adventures we've had. I could tell you about the sweet little gallery in Bellingham behind the train tracks with the train that chugged and hollered through everyone's reading, then Olympia and the 3 million rad girls who came out to see us and our special guest the brilliant Nomy Lamm who blew everyone away with her fierce fat freak manifesto (to be published in the upcoming Seal Press anthology Adios, Barbie), and of course Portland and the show only 4 girls came to and then the show that lots of girls came to and then the open mic that some chicks read at and they were all good & smart & sassy & left you wanting some more of them.
BUT what is going to happen here is a little interview starring Tara Jepsen, who packed her bowling bag up with notebooks and tarot cards and hopped in the van right when Harriet had to fly back to San Francisco and paint some houses to pay the bills.
M: Tara tell me about your comfort level right now. (Tara is about to drop her panties and take a healthy roadside pee, somewhere in Oregon on the way to Ashland)
T: Um my comfort level right now is . . . affected by the fact that a girl gave me flowers in Portland which have partially disintegrated and now have creeped their way into my pants. The flowers.
M: What kind of flowers?
T: The flowers are called 'Love Lies Bleeding'. Look out for pee on the ground.
M: That's so morbid.
T: I know. It's intense. It's like having pink poppyseeds in my underwear.
M: So maybe we should talk about poetry groupies. Because everyone always wants to know if they exsist.
T: It definitely seems like there are poetry groupies. Yeah, SHEILA! (pep talking the sputtering van) Because there are some girls who follow the show, go to a bunch of the shows. And also some girls act really shy when they approach the bench.
M: Shy groupies!
T: But I don't think they want anyone who looks feminine. I mean, in the traditional sense. I don't think they want me when I look feminine.
M: Yeah I think the butchier ladies win more hearts. Maybe there are just less butchy girls in the places we go, and chicks like us in skirts are pretty average and they want some big exotic dyke from another land.
T: Good point.
(this is Tara interviewing Michelle now)
T: What do you think about the possibility of starting a sister spit open dance party?
M: Oh my god. We had such a dance party after our gay bar show in Portland. The dj played the twenty minute Natalie Imbruglia techno remix I requested and Sini was doing the worm on the floor and everyone was dirty dancing and chair dancing and I think there needs to be more dance parties, especially after poetry readings. It lets you shake out all that intensity and get the blood flowing in your butt cheeks again.
T: Do you remember which song Harriet requested?
M: I didn't know Harriet requested any songs.
T: She requested I Just Can't Get Enough by Depeche Mode.
M: You can travel with a person for months and months and still not know them. Did you request any songs?
T: No, I was too busy cutting a rug. I was glad they headed for the eighties though. What do you think is the fuel that makes Portland go? There's all that talk about coffee and beer.
M: I was going to say pot and darts, even though I didn't see anyone smoking pot it just seems like a pothead kind of town. Portland is like a vortex for me. Every time I go there I end up spending much more time than I was supposed to and I don't know what to do with myself.
T: It did seem like we were there forever.
M: If you were going to buy Sheila (the van) a present what would it be?
T: It would be a heart-shaped pillow to rest her sweet little head on. We were talking before about what a love den Sheila is, like how she makes people inside of her harmonious.
M: What decoration would you bring into Sheila to spruce her up?
T: I think she would look great with some pink fur lining her insides, or maybe yellow, I don't know if that's cheesy but it seems like she could use more color.
M: That's not cheesy at all, yeah, that's a good idea. I think of that shag carpeting over the front seats as her bangs and I was thinking she needs clippies and hair decorations, but maybe what she also needs is extensions, like the pink fur would be her hair extensions.
T: Do you feel like you had an experience with Portland beer?
M: Last night I had a Rainier pounder at Dot's, that was really the only time I got a chance to drink the bad northwest beer that I like, such as Rainier, Olympia, and Hamm's in a can. And I did want to visit the Olympia brewery but that just didn't happen. I have been drinking much beer, although this leg of the tour has been relatively mellow compared to the summer of beer brawls.
T: It seems like there is a beer sisterhood between the pacific northwest and Wisconsin where I am from. (I give Michelle a big rundown of Wisconsin's mighty macrobrewery beers.)
We have to sign off now so we don't run Lynn's battery down. We're sitting in the back of the van and the sky is clear and it's kind of warm and I still have a bunch of those prickly flower things in my pants from the lovely girl in Portland, Kelly.
We love you guys, always have,
Michelle and Tara
DAY ELEVEN--On the road from Ashland to Chico
Feminist Bitch Rock
By Tara Jepsen, Annie La Gonga, and Michelle Tea
Okeedokee so here we are cruisin' in the van, crusin' right back into California. We're almost home. Last night we had a show in Ashland at a little hippie vegan cafe with amazing soy mocha drinks and a lovely proprietess named Jane. Tara was sitting in the cafe trying to finish a story about her whirlwind romance with a willowy lass from Portland, when she heard these two, well dudes, they were dudes, I don't know what else to call them, one goes "What is this Sister Spit thing here?" The other guy is all "It's feminist bitch rock!" That's what his friend told him. During the show while Annie was smoking outside a boy said "What are they doing in there?" and another boy said "They're telling stories" and the other one said "About what?" and the other answered, so matter-of-fact, "Rape". No one mentioned rape in the show last night! I guess that's what feminist bitch rockers talk about. Rape and tofu. Actually, subjects covered in last nights show were: k.d. lang, vomit, dying roommates, heroin, New York City, l'amour, more l'amour, highway clean- up, scars, bars, and supermarkets. The parking lot of Evo's, the place we rocked out at, was bigger than the actual cafe and it was thick with hippie dogma. Like all about having a better world, but THEIR WAY. You could smell the dreadlocks. The hippies and assorted punkie boys peeked warily through the window, while inside the chairs were filled with very nice and often glamorous ladies and a few dudes who sat and listened and were cool to perform to. We could definitely feel the love. They even tossed some bucks into the teapot we passed around for gas money. After we went to Daddy-O's. Well Michelle went to a little cocktail party and drank cans of Lucky Draft out of the freezer and met a girl with a big tutu collection that made her feel desperate junior high type feelings. Meanwhile Annie is the sole girl at Daddy-O's, in a room with nine beer-drinking pool-playing guys listening to D.I.'s 'I Love Guns' song. She had a great conversation with an airbrush bike painter about 15th century religious woodcuts. Tara walked in on her saying "I really like crests". Then Annie started talking to a dude named Cory about his recent stint in jail. She would like to add that later in the evening he almost got his ass kicked by Sini because he was being a spaz at the pool table. He kept asking Tara questions and then dismissing her. He called Sini a ding-dong and we thought she was going to pound his head in with one of the many kitsch-y porcelain figurines decorating this pretty cool punk bar with leopard carpeting and $1.50 turkey dogs with cheese and fucking Bartles & James wine coolers that Michelle kept drinking because she was feeling tired and gross from beer and needed something sugary to keep her going and it worked so good that later in the van in her sleeping bag she could not fall asleep, she could only twitch her sugar twitch and stare longingly at the Marilyn Manson poster she got for free at Tower when she bought the CD. We were all there to see this great hardcore/industrial/ gas-mask-wearing band called Jollymon who we all agreed rocked, though not in the feminist bitch way. No rape songs that we could tell. Annie danced herself sweaty and trance-like while fighting a silent, non-verbal war with 2 skinny coke hags (Tori Amos and her slutty little sister?). Every time the music stopped Annie would stop and give the hairbags the friendly tribal dance salute, and they would glare back. One was wearing a terrible Contempo Casual dress with her black lace boobs hanging out, the other wore conservative brown rayon shorts with garter belts hanging out. Tennis shorts? Safari wear? J. Jacobs clearance rack? Cross-Dress-For-Less? OK. Let's discuss the clientele at this punk dungeon. With the exception of a few wild and truly maniacal ladies who were having a fucking messy & loud good time, the bar was thick with all the girls who fucked with you in high school and now like Green Day. Lots of emphasis on pretty, with some girls getting a little wacky with a funny hairdo that can be put back to normal in the morning. Some good overheard quotes: "Can you believe I'm the same person you saw today at the farmer's market?" Answer: "But you are the same person." Sini said, "That's for sure." Another good one - "I'm trying to lose weight! I'm dancing the pounds off!" This from the coke hag in the Contempo Casual dress. (Who didn't appear to have a pound to spare unless she started sawing limbs off.) The guys all looked like jocks with trendy hairdos. As the fabulous Nomy Lamm discussed during her performances, it was a punk scene filled with people who were really popular in high school and later, bored, decide they want to be really popular in the punk scene! Annie would like to mention that she was lucky enough to go home with Kali, a reckless uber-chick all tits and ass and hair and white teeth. Tara would like to say that she spent a large portion of the evening chatting with Rachel and Casey (Casey was rad - she's a mom) and Rachel is a Taurus who could talk a blue streak and she ended up going home with Rachel and cuddling with her and her very cute dogs. Also, Annie made out with Cory the ex-con. If a 'point game' were to be happening on this tour, Annie La Gonga and Tara Jepsen would have a row of glinting stars beside their names. We ended the night by getting in a fight outside with a big goon and his lovely goonettes. Like everyone else in this place they looked normal and wealthy. As we walked out of Daddy-O's Michelle was talking about some guy who was asking her if her tattoos hurt. Michelle bravely acknowledged to the interrogator the pain involved in scraping her skin with inky needles. Mr. Big Pants Outside edged in on our conversation, coming over and rubbing his meaty skanky body where he suppossedly had tattoos yelling "That didn't hurt, and that didn't hurt and that didn't hurt" all the while RUBBING himself in all different parts of his body like he was updating the hand jive from Grease. His back-up singers (who wouldn't get out of their sporty red clowncar and face our music) bragged loudly that their tattoos didn't hurt-- duh, these chicks probably had tiny roses on their asses, of course it didn't hurt! The whole thing was so gross we had to just start screaming at him. And then Mr. I-Feel-No-Pain hurled his plastic cup of smuggled beer at the wall behind us and it bounced comically to the ground and Rachel the Taurus started pretending to jerk off a big penis, wildly flipping her hips fore and aft, and we all yelled at him to take his "tattoos" and leave in his little red Corvette. More later about Tara fighting with a bitchy chick in a mint green t-shirt about her shitty treatment of a homeless 15 year-old boy with a tiny kitten.
BACK HOME IN S.F. WITH THE MINT STORY--Tara
The morning after the show at Evo's cafe I went back there with Rachel the jackin' Taurus for breakfast. We had just gone on a lovely jaunt through some gorgeous park in town, I couldn't believe I was up early enough to exercise but that Rachel has a lot of energy and I resigned myself to a morning of fresh air. No regrets, our walk was beautiful. Anyhoo, I bellied up to the bar at the cafe and a friendly woman took my order, bagel with hummus and tomato (Flirting with veganity. Can't do that often on the road.) and when I received my food I went to pepper it up. As I stood at the condiment cart (Kondiment Kart?) I heard the same woman who helped me talking to a street punk kid like he was the biggest piece of shit she had ever encountered. She said, "You may NOT touch or lean on this counter with any part of your body. And you might consider washing your hands." And as she spits this out at him she is furiously wiping down the counter with a wet rag/e (clever, yes?). She does, however, bring him the milk he is requesting for his kitten. He thanked her super-politely, I couldn't believe how sweet he was because I would have wanted to puke all over that stupid mint green shirt of hers. I walked outside shaking because I couldn't handle how cruel and condescending her tone was to this person who obviously is not cruising down easy street in his five-point-oh. I went outside and sat down with Rachel and started crying my eyes out, I think this whole thing wrung me out so bad because the kid reminded me of my brother, all young and misunderstood and having his humanity ignored. I projected that he was unhappy and let down by the world around him, which could be untrue but truth is not the point of projection is it? I thought it must feel so shitty to have a dumb adult talk to you that way, no matter how rock and roll you are about your life. Rachel encouraged me to go in and talk to her, thank-you Rachel, so I did with my heart feeling like it was full of lumpy rocks. Rachel had actually met the kid before because she works with homeless/troubled youth, and she said he isn't actually homeless, he left his home by choice because his family is very poor and couldn't take care of him so he came to Ashland to get a job and live on his own. I asked mint woman to talk to me and we sat down at a table. I said, "I just can't believe you talked to that boy the way you did. It's disturbing to me that you showed so little respect for him." And she went on and on about how he didn't deserve her respect because he chose to look the way he does and he is insulting me and her and the public at large by walking around so dirty. I said You have no idea why he has made the choices he has and what his life has been like to bring him to where he is now, and furthermore he doesn't have the economic or physical resources [she does] to live like her in the case that he did want to look like a mall rat and just didn't have the cabriolet and Structure credit card. She kept interrupting me and was talking very loudly and told me she had raised her own daughter which somehow she thought made a point. I told her she needed to listen when I talked because I would get two words out and she would start howling away at me. She said that he needs adults like her to give him guidance and that people like me who just say Whatever (I am clearly such a WHATEVER kind of girl. I'm a fucking scorpio you jerk.) aren't helping him at all. I said I don't think you're getting through to a person by treating them like they are worthless. But ultimately she wasn't having it and I said I think even if you don't agree with the way the guy is living he deserves respect and she disagreed so I said Therein lies our difference and she said Yes and got up and went about her insulting business. I went outside crying again (I am a huge cry-baby, captain of Team Cry) and went to talk to the kid and he was sitting in front of the library with some friends feeding his kitten with a dropper and the milk Mintlady gave him. He said he thought she was fucked-up. I concurred and we chatted and he offered me a fig newton although I was so sick to my stomach about the whole event I had to decline. It occurs to me that all the crying and stomach sickness was a big reaction to this debacle, I mean I know people (my friends, brothers, me) are treated like shit sometimes and that is the way of the judgmental world but suffice it to say that I was channeling a larger cosmic sadness. Later I talked to Jane the excellent owner of the cafe and she listened and was understanding and all that great stuff because I have to say I was scared she would have some weird rationale for the woman's actions but she said weird stuff comes up with her sometimes and she tries to work it out with this woman. Which I think is the best you can do and I left feeling like we all did a proper job being human beings. I mean the kid may not have given a shit about me or needed my cheerleading and he may have been fucked up but the bottom line is I had to serve a little justice pie and I cared about the guy whether he wanted me to or not.