the insomniac, part three

so, in our last episode, our heroes were providing entertainment to the young and disenfranchised who couldn’t get into clubs. we were booking great bands, some of them drawing crowds of way over our fire permit numbers, but the fire department worked with us, as did the police. why not? what a favor we were doing them, babysitting 600 adolescents on friday and saturday nights!

of course they weren’t too happy about the riot. either greenday or the offspring, i get those two mixed up to this day. all three ventura gangs were well represented. that show never did go on. but when we did have the big shows, with the past-capacity crowds, the energy was incredible. imagine 600 teenagers in one place. the hormones alone would knock you out. we had no heat, but on those nights who cared? it would rain sweat from the fifty foot high ceilings.

and because we catered to the adolescent crowd, every little thing got blamed on us. one time there was a car stolen on the west end of town. a high speed chase ensued, during which the gang-affiliated joyriders fired some shots in the vicinity of the mayfair as they passed by. they were later apprehended on the east end when they crashed the car. the headline? “shooting at mayfair”. yeah, it was all our fault.

but, we put out extra security (ten huge guys we paid twenty bucks a head to hang out in t-shirts and look… like huge guys. amazingly effective). the neighbors were mollified, somewhat, but they still bitched. they were neighbors, it was their job.

but that wasn’t our biggest problem. our biggest problem was a conditional use permit to use the building in the manner we were using it. it came down to the parking spaces. capacity of 455, parking spaces 14. never mind that the vast majority of our clientele were years from their first driver’s license, there were rules! and so we had to fight city hall.

we marched on city hall. we met at the mayfair, and walked up to the big building at the top of california street, some 50 or 60 kids in full mid-90’s regalia. we filed in quietly and took our places. before the meeting started, one of the city council members clutched his chest and fell to the floor. (we weren’t that scary, i swear it!) in any case, the case was postponed.

in spite of the lost inertia, we managed to get another group to attend the next meeting. the kids were awesome. they had their notes, they stepped up to the podium and kept their speeches within the five minute limit. they spoke of needing a safe place to go, how their parents trusted them when they were going to the mayfair. they were eloquent and to the point. those kids were awesome. i’ll never forget that.

we won. we got our permit. the next chapter will be the last one, and it will most likely have to wait till tomorrow, i need to go take some pictures of the mayfair today.

i always wanted to yell out, “play like sinatra”:


like sinatra

it was 400 miles on my wheels
to come find her
and i stood like a broken umbrella
behind her
and i opened my mouth just enough to
remind her
she don’t need another mess out of me
but that’s ok cause i agree
i was out on my feet with a feeling
so helpless
and she said ‘you decide to appear
you’re so selfish’
and i picked up a picture of some sucker
on her shelf
that’s when i felt her replacing me
then my knees gave in and i decided to leave
i was thinking of her and wrote a letter to me
it said: torture your liver and let the earth quake
if this makes you shiver then sit there and shake
buddy you bought this with pockets of pride
it’s time to take this murder inside
where you hide in the holes of the reason you slay
i’ve been thinking about all the things
she won’t tell me
oh for fear that i’ll just disappear
can you help me
with the weight of the world at my feet
on my shoulders
and i’m making a mess out of me
but that’s ok
cause i can stand in the face of these things
and stop suffering
the bite of the booze used to sting
now it’s comforting
400 miles on my knees must mean something
but she’s taking her hands back from me
now my wheels won’t turn
what a goddamn shame
but i got no one besides me i can blame
so torture your liver and let the earth quake
if this makes you shiver then sit there and shake
buddy you bought this with pockets of pride
it’s time to take this murder inside
where the creatures are seizing the chances you make

first version : download here
second version (more of an ‘unplugged’ feel to it): have to reupload. email liz at dotlizard dot com if you would like it.

15 thoughts on “the insomniac, part three

  1. chapter four: the end has been written. it is awaiting me taking some photos tomorrow.

    glad i finally got this out.

  2. i need illustrations for the end.

    this is a good thing for me. this needed to be written, in spite of the number of times it had me in almost-tears. and the last chapter which had me flat out bawling.

    tomorrow. by 6pm. i promise.

  3. i used to fight for teens too, when i was news director for a hot rock station. couldn’t believe how they legislated every fun activity out of existence, and then wondered why kids were so bored. that was before school shootings, of course. people are so afraid of teenagers, they’ll piss their pants when they see more than two together.

  4. I’ve never thrown an event for teenagers, but I have thrown nighttime events – with permit and without, with security and without – and know just how frustrating it can be. Kudos for trying!

    Oh, and the Calvin quote is divine.

  5. can’t wait to see pics. this reminds me a lot of a club in particular (in utah) i used to go to. (mid-90’s, punk bands bussed in from SoCal). it was great. brings back a lotta memories.

  6. the next installment is written but needs me to go take pictures, which i shall do after work. in the meantime i have either another song for you or, i was going to change the subject for a bit — or i could work. there’s that.

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