Tag Archives: college

No Nostalgia Sundays: Pistolwhip’s Passing (And Poetic Parlor Tricks)

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No Nostalgia Sundays: Pistolwhip’s Passing (And Poetic Parlor Tricks)

While attending university, I spent more time in barrooms than I did in classrooms. I don’t think this was a conscious decision on my part, it’s just that classes were held on set days for predetermined periods of time and bars weren’t. Most students seemed to prefer boring places to study like the library or cafes, but I was always of the opinion that bars were the best places to get schoolwork done– even if I’d end up getting so drunk that I’d forget my completed assignments when I left.

The funny bit about all of my bargazing was that I hated all the bars in Berkeley, and yet I found myself at Kip’s and Blake’s and even the fucking Bear’s Lair nearly every day. I mean, the Bear’s Lair didn’t even serve liquor, for Christ’s sake (as in the Japanese wine, which they also did not serve).

I would usually choose Kip’s out of the bunch because it was the scummiest and I preferred dive bars over the more frat-friendly establishments. The bartender there also made an all right Irish Car Bomb and, after becoming accustomed to my drinking habits, would oblige me when I would order two or three at a time for myself. One time though I walked in there at eight AM while the dude was cleaning and tried to do the same. He looked at me funny and told me that he didn’t open for six hours or something and that I would have to come back. I was really perplexed; why would a bar not be open that early? When I moved to Oakland the next year, I found that the people there seemed to agree with me, because the bars were always open around sunrise when I needed to treat some shakes.

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No Nostalgia Sundays: Hanging With Mr. Carter (And The Acid Kid)

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No Nostalgia Sundays: Hanging With Mr. Carter (And The Acid Kid)

My first year at Berkeley, I resided in the Channing-Bowditch student apartments, which was a far less interesting place to live than the co-ops or dormitories. The apartments reminded me of the waiting room at the doctor’s office, only the magazine selection was a little worse.

I composed the following poem my second semester. My first semester had been largely spent doing every conceivable thing I could think of to get expelled so that I could return home with a (not really) valid excuse: I attended class infrequently, got written up for drinking dozens of times (a building record if I’m not mistaken), and acted erratically.

Basically, I was just being my normal, lovable self.

But I didn’t get expelled, and my second semester found me living with The Acid Kid* in room #233. Every apartment in the building had the exact same layout: two bedrooms with two beds each and an adjoining shared kitchen, living room, and bathroom. The Acid Kid and I shared one room, and these two real square kids shared the other. I think they were engineering majors or something equally lame, but they didn’t drink or smoke or curse or fuck or anything. They were there to study and better themselves and were, as you may imagine, not into the perpetual soiree of self-destruction that Acid Kid and myself had going on.

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Dear Dionysus VIII

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Dear Dionysus VIII

Dear Dionysus,

You may have noticed that you did not receive a letter from me yesterday. This is because I didn’t write one. Unfortunately I was ill, and even had to leave work early.

It’s a curious thing: when you and I were galavanting about, I was in the habit of using any excuse I could find to play hookey from work or school and spend my time with you instead. The times that I used the excuse of being sick are far too numerous for me to recall. And even when I was legitimately sick, chances were that it was a direct result of whatever fun you and I had had the previous night.

But things have changed quite a bit haven’t they, Dionysus? I was actually and legitimately sick yesterday, and it had absolutely nothing to do with you. Moreover, I was rather disappointed I had to take the day off, and even tried to stay focused on my workload as long as I possibly could before I had to resign for the rest of the afternoon.

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In The Well

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(Dated 12/26/08.  Clearly, I didn’t care much about final exams.)

I skipped school again to go to the bar.
Playing hooky in a juke joint on Golgotha Street.
There’s hockey playing on the television
above the bottles and
blaspheming barkeep.
But I ain’t interested in all of that.

Drinks are never on the house
and there’s a hard-knock, well-whiskeyed waitress
who will never go home with me,
in spite of all my well-meaning charm
and respectful winks and liquored, loving looks.

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