Category Archives: Letters To Dionysus

Dear Dionysus XVIII: German Hospitality (In The Flesh)

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Dear Dionysus XVIII: German Hospitality (In The Flesh)

Dear Dionysus,

We found the Germans to be rather trusting and accommodating people for the most part. They shared their beer, offered us their couches to sleep on, and (as previously mentioned) flowed us ridiculously large bags of swag weed. They also didn’t seem to question our intentions or credentials too much when we tried to do things that young men of our age and caliber would never be permitted to do stateside. Like, say, rent a Mercedes Benz to drive to Oktoberfest in Munich.

To my knowledge, one must be twenty-five to rent an automobile in the states; the oldest amongst us was Yorick, who clocked in at an ancient twenty-one years old. But this was Deutschland, where they let kids drink at sixteen for Christ’s sake. In spite of some language barriers and concerns as to the validity of Yorick’s California driver’s license, we were able to secure a rental car for the next week that would get us to Munich, which is about 364 miles* from Berlin.

The Benz was a stick shift, which meant that Yorick would be doing all of the driving, as neither Franky nor myself could operate a manual transmission. Yorick swore that was the only car they would let us have, but I was convinced that he picked it on purpose so that he could do all of the driving. Indeed, Yorick was rather fond of speeding, and was certainly excited about the prospects of entirely ignoring all of the speed “suggestions” on the Autobahn.

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Dear Dionysus XXXVI: Beansprout Dracula

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Dear Dionysus XXXVI: Beansprout Dracula

Dear Dionysus,

I don’t want you getting the impression that the only women we interacted with over there were prostitutes. That wasn’t the case at all. After a week or so of trying and failing to have any sort of meaningful interaction with German girls (solely for Franky’s benefit of course), we started to have a bit more luck.

Our luck started with kabob.

You see, Dionysus, we would stay out to all hours of the night drinking, and we’d inevitably get hungry, except the only spots open that late were kabob stands. They were like the German equivalent of Del Taco, except a little less accommodating to a vegetarian of my convictions. I didn’t touch meat then, mate, which meant that I usually A) sucked it up and went hungry or B) drank more beer because, after all, beer was food, really.

One night we were hanging around one of these kabob stands, and were already a little tipsy. Franky and Yorick were devouring their Döner which, despite it’s revolting appearance, was rather appetizing– according to them at least. We had been bar-hopping, although none of the bars were very interesting and we didn’t stay at any longer than a drink or two. We had no idea where we were going to spend the remainder of the night.

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Dear Dionysus XXXVI: Bordello Boogie

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Dear Dionysus XXXVI: Bordello Boogie

Dear Dionysus,

I may have been in Berlin, but I had left my heart in Orange County with Isadora. Indeed, I had a ubiquitous Polaroid in my back pocket to remind me of this heart-wrenching fact and, despite all the fun I was having with Yorick and Franky, I still thought about Isadora pretty persistently.

There was no way for me to understand then that I was establishing a romantic pattern that would perpetuate itself through much of my adult life: I was much more infatuated with the idea of a girl than I was with the girl herself. I would worship at the altar of ideal love, and then sneak round back for some unmentionables in the alleyway of impure lust. Because a girl could never possibly play the part I had assigned to her satisfactorily enough in my romantic production, my theater of the absurd. Thus, I would sooner or later become disillusioned with the entire production and ditch out for whichever sultry starlet would allow me to play her gentleman caller for the evening.

Basically, that Polaroid in my back pocket was an inanimate fetish object, representing something that never was and never would be outside of my lofty, idyllic, and very delusional fantasies.

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Dear Dionysus XXXV: Tall Tales Take Tall Cans

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Dear Dionysus XXXV: Tall Tales Take Tall Cans

Dear Dionysus,

After the initial German bar experience, we figured out pretty quickly that the kind, noble people of Berlin viewed drinking as a harmless practice. It was the land of beer and Schnitzel, Dionysus, and since I was a devout vegetarian and couldn’t participate in the latter, I had no choice but to go double time on the former.

That’s right, mate: I had no choice. Oceans and continents and language barriers couldn’t keep us apart then, love, and our romance was taken to hitherto unattainable heights. I may have been there physically with Yorick and Franky, but I was with you in spirit(s), Dionysus.

I was a literal kid in a proverbial candy shop.

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Dear Dionysus XXXIV: Operation: Bar Bathroom Bingo

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Dear Dionysus XXXIV: Operation: Bar Bathroom Bingo

Dear Dionysus,

I suppose I sort of left you hanging on the Germany rabble-rousing travelogue, didn’t I? Apologies, mate: I was on vacation. So where were we? Oh that’s right–on vacation.

I was no longer Rateval, suburbanite American teenager; I was Ickbin, erudite, worldly, refined European. Therefore, I wanted to do European things, like smoke cigarettes inside dining establishments and püt cööl dötß övër äll my vöwëls and, most especially, discuss sophisticated topics with my sophisticated friends in sophisticated bars over sophisticated drinks. Most especially, I wanted to drink. (Oh, don’t look at me like that, with those accusatory eyes labeling me a lush.)

So I didn’t waste any time at all. Patience has never been my gig, Dionysus– especially when it comes to something I dig. And I certainly dug drinking.

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Dear Dionysus XXXIII: Slamdance Macabre

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Dear Dionysus XXXIII: Slamdance Macabre

Dear Dionysus,

I hope that I can get this letter done by midnight, as I’m being told by very reliable and very educated sources that the world is, in fact, ending at that time. It’s ironic, mate: I used to do nearly everything in my power to try to end the world (or at least my world), but now the very proposition of such a thing bums me out immensely. There is still so much that needs to be said, so much between us that happened that I simply must get out before I check out.

I need more time, Dionysus: Much, much more time.

I used to live on stolen time and before that is was borrowed time and before that it was taken time but I never took the time to take the time to make the time to book the time to earn my time, dig? I was just taking all the time, and I never even had the common courtesy to make it mine. It was lunacy but it all made sense– at the time.

But now I need more fucking time.

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Dear Dionysus XXXII: Ickbin Einberliner

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Dear Dionysus XXXII: Ickbin Einberliner

Dear Dionysus,

Sorry to keep you waiting, mate. I’ve been feeling a little under the weather. I still am in fact: my head feels like there is a gnome brass section practicing Berlioz melodies with my cranium serving as the music house.

Slide those trombones as low as they’ll go, my little gnome trombonists! Slide, Captain, slide!

I get a little weird when I’m ill, old friend. But you know all about me and being sick, I’m sure. Used to be a time when there was a very specific prescription for my very explicit sickness, but I ain’t that kinda sick anymore, Dionysus.

I digress, however. So where were we? Layovers in Paris, I believe.

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Dear Dionysus XXXI: A Fright & A Clash

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Dear Dionysus XXXI: A Fright & A Clash

Dear Dionysus,

I was on top of the world again. I still had that gnarly statutory rape charge hanging over my head, but I didn’t care: What were the laws of god or man when it came to true love, Dionysus? Isadora and I were meant for each other, and I had a Polaroid in my back pocket to prove it. In my inexperienced teenage mind, the prospect of denying myself my one true love* was far more punishing than any prison sentence. I’d eat baloney sandwiches and drink pruno and play pinochle for all eternity for her, mate.

Our day of departure had finally arrived and I had my girl back and I was leaving for Europe with two of my closest friends and I couldn’t care less about anything else. My mother drove us to the airport in her minivan, and she was full of all sorts of advice for us. She had gone to school in Europe as a teenager, so she was trying to give us an idea of what to expect and how to conduct ourselves. After all, Europeans are much different from Americans, and we wouldn’t want to come across as philistine tourists. But she was also my mother, after all, so she had the standard maternal cautionary instincts going too.

“I wish you boys wouldn’t, but I know that you may find yourself in a situation where you meet a girl you may, uh, hit it off with. If this happens, just make sure that you’re, uh, protected. The dollar to Euro exchange rate is pretty bad right now so you certainly don’t want to end up paying child support for a Germanic love child.”

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Dear Dionysus XXX: Our Young Man, A Broad, And Our Young Man Abroad

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Dear Dionysus XXX: Our Young Man, A Broad, And Our Young Man Abroad

Dear Dionysus,

Let’s jump back to things just post-high school, shall we?

In spite of the fact that I had bailed on high school graduation, I had still technically graduated. And what’s more, I had gotten really solid grades in the process, which apparently was some kind of an accomplishment or something. I don’t know, Dionysus– it was all a joke to me.

Anyways, my parents decided to reward me for what they saw as a job well done. While I didn’t get a new BMW or breast implants like most of my peers, I was to be going to Germany for a month. This was totally unprecedented and unexpected for me, mate: I had never been outside of California in my entire eighteen years, not even to Mexico (which was a whole two hour drive away). Thus, I was fucking thrilled at this prospect to say the least.

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Dear Dionysus XXIX: The Best Laid Plans Of Crooks & Punx

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Dear Dionysus XXIX: The Best Laid Plans Of Crooks & Punx

Dear Dionysus,

I got around to starting something close to a real band when I was seventeen. I recruited three other skate punk types I knew from high school who could actually play their instruments. Well, at least they knew their way around them well enough to play rudimentary punk rock stuff.

The dude who had drunkenly kissed me in a previous episode was the lead singer. He was fantastic, Dionysus: as I’ve already stated, the kid knew how to move like Jagger, so it wasn’t all that important whether he could sing or not. The guitarist was this shredder hessian kid one year younger than me named Billy and the drummer was a perpetually stoned beach bum by the name of Nicky. It was a pretty solid lineup, and Nicky’s mom never got home until late so we could usually have band practice there.

We weren’t half bad, Dionysus. As far as teenaged punk bands go, I’d say that we had all the right ingredients: hormonal nonchalance, power chords, funny haircuts, ripped jeans, sleeveless T-shirts, and lots and lots of pimples. (The pimples are key.) We called ourselves The Crooks, not because we were criminally inclined, but rather because we had a running adolescent joke going about the curvature of our boy bits. Don’t try to figure that one out, Dionysus–there’s no reason to it.

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