I hadn’t seen Mike for around fifteen years when I ran into him while teaching Clarion West--a student who was driving me somewhere stopped for gas at Mike’s station and there Mike was. He scared the daylights out of my student by talking about prison life and how the student would do well in the joint by selling his ass. Mike grew up on the streets of Seattle, working as a prostitute while a teenager, eventually living for a while with “a Cadillac salesman with a ring in his dick,” then ran away to Detroit and Ann Arbor. When I first met him, he was living with some people he called the Kung Fu Hillbillies, primitive survivalists whose leader earned a living by selling homemade throwing stars and crank to high school kids, and whom they all believed would be king of the world once the Shitstorm came (This part of Mike’s life forms a portion of a forthcoming novel). The leader, Richard, was ultraviolent, a black belt in some martial art, but Mike kept him under control. He built a laser and other arcane devices in his room, and Richard’s eyes would widen with fear to see all the dancing lights and stuff. I think he believed Mike was a wizard. Whenever Richard got contentious, Mike would solve the problem by giving him a bottle of tequila and Richard would fuck himself up behind the booze.
Richard ended up shooting a black man through the eye. He was a total racist, believing that blacks were descended from apes, whites from angels. After shooting the black guy, he got drunk and took his dog and his bow and arrows, and hid in a culvert, where the cops eventually found him. During the time he lived with the Hillbillies, Mike was in a straight phase and had a girlfriend who worked at the Velvet Touch massage parlor, and endeared himself to the various women who worked there, because he had a foolproof and painless way of removing vaginal warts. I was drawn to him because he had no filters on his speech and talked in a kind of stream of consciousness style, oddly literate and entirely profane. This got us kicked out of a lot of bars and restaurants, because Mike talks loud. Yesterday was no different. We met up with Mike up at noon, and by two o’clock we were drunk and had been kicked out of our first bar. I can’t be around Mike too much—the alcohol consumption is extreme and it just gets too intense; but it was fun yesterday. We took the Mike Show to a wino bar where no one would be offended and somehow managed to get home safely.
Anyway, Gordon’s off tomorrow, heading for the British Columbia Vancouver, and I’m hoping to get a little work done before he wakes up. More later.