Gough Street Jesus

Fuck, I hate people. I mean I say it a lot, and don’t really mean it. What I mean is vast swathes of humanity disappoint me greatly. Actually I am highly sociable, and friendly, and actually really care about ‘people’….but then people go messing it all up. I feel this deep seating writing mass of lava-hot rage rising up inside me at the shame of it, the sadness of it, the unfairness of it all, and then some dude makes a shitty comment as I am trying to have a peaceful day….and there it is again: the rage.

I am used to men having a strange response to the fact I survived abuse. The ones that claim to be good guys, wearing that mantle around their shoulders like some superhero Cape of Justification, want to forever bang on about how hard it must be, how damaged I must be, how awful terrible, how impossible to survive, how fucked up I must be, like the abuse is some kind of hair shirt I must wear forever, so people can pity me. I don’t bring up my abuse. I talk about music, or life or books or writing, but still I am told “I must” be struggling. Actually no, I am free and thriving, and fighting to survive. I do not wish to be defined by the abuse and the beatings and the rapes. They were not ‘me’ they were what was done to me by Him. These men refuse to interact with me as anything other than an abused, and then call themselves sensitive.

Then you get the flirters. “I KNOW you aren’t really a lesbian” they bleat. I started off strongly to the lesbian end of bisexual, and now would rather eat my own left (fretting) hand than fuck a man again. They somehow think they can rescue me, they can take something more from me than I am wishing to give. They flirt, and step over boundaries. Easily dismissed, albeit sadly. You see I enjoy male company. I am not the world’s most feminine of women, and as such find talking baseball and guitars with the boys a huge source of enjoyment, and I hold out hope that my company is equally as interesting. Fat chance: it is a case of ‘kiss me, damnit, or get out of here.’ Urg. No thanks.

I prefer the ones that give me a tough time to start with, that engage with me as an equal, that won’t sock me in the jaw, but aren’t afraid to verbally joust and play. These guys are at least fun, and not boring or dully preDICKtable. “Hey, TPS, whaddya think of Patti Smith?” is a whole lot more enjoyable than the rest of it. At least I am not dismissed or toyed with, or expected to fall around in paroxysms of delight at their presence. Fuck that shit.

The downright hostile are not too numerous: they exist. They write nasty little things on my blog, they get me riled up and wanting to declare war. Boring. Dull. Hurtful. Scary. Whatever. We exist in the same world and in the end I hope to be able to stand over the flames of their destruction as I publish my third book, or score that big-time interview with an artist I actually care about. Give me a Big Thief interview or give me destruction!

I went into a shop that sells manga today. Just as a small aside, it is NOT MON-GAAAAH! For crying out loud, people, don’t make it more difficult than it is! MAN-GA. A like apple. I could weep. All the white kids dressed like Naruto with toast in their mouths make me want to channel Filthy Frank (halfu young man on youtube…raged Kaufmanesque about Japanophile non Japanese people, who attacked his identity, and pissed all over Japanese culture. Getting these ‘weebs’ to shout penis in Japanese, thinking they were saying something altogether different, was a moment of pure dadesque hilarity. Unfortunately the whole pink man in a skin suit ‘natural man’ victim of the id’s more basic impulses act and dali- schtick got to him, and it sounded like he had to quit the extreme slapstick and acid drenched comedy for trap music or else drown. Ce la vie! I wish he would return to comedy). White dude demanded to know if my son, who is part Japanese, could read the Japanese-language comic book he was buying. “Dood…can ya….like…even read it?” The rage built up, and I flew at him. “You racist little shit! How dare you? What fucking business is it of yours!” The Boy looked on bemused. “Hey muvver”….he quipped, “muvver should I build the wall?”

“You had better, ____-kun, and you had better believe I am gonna check all your girlfriends out for you!…You SURE you aren’t gay?”

“It actually bothers you that I’m straight, doesn’t it!”

“Ill get over it, kiddo. Give me time.”

There are a few characters around the places we haunt, that I recognize and know and have interacted with. One is a black pilled incel with hair down to his waist, and an old duct taped cinema reel case he uses as a bag. He won’t talk to women. He is a jerk. He won’t talk even when he is serving at a shop, and instead reverts to mime and hand gestures. He had me jumping around like a marionette when trying to deal with him last time. What he really wanted was for me to use the shop’s hand gel. He refused to use his big boy words. See there is the rage. I saw him today, and he tutted at me, and followed us round the grocery store, hair over his face like a virginal Sadako-chan. I wish he would realize that girls won’t fuck him because he is intense and creepy and everything says stay the fuck away from him. He creeps me out. I imagined him sliding towards me and sticking a knife into my ribs and found myself wondering if I was picking up on one of his unguarded thoughts as he wandered past me repeatedly. I grabbed my mace and glared at he tutted wierdly. Little freak.

I was about ready to bail on the day, picked up the few things we needed on our return journey, and decided to jump into an cab rather than walk through the Civic Center and ‘Loin. It was a treat to myself. I think if another man dangles his dick at me I might pull it right off and hurl it into the traffic to be driven over by an cab driver who would think it was a small and reticent mouse.

Sometimes the cab drivers are total freaks, and not in a good way. I swear a few rides ago I smelt the unmistable scent of black tar heroin in the cab. The bastard must have just been chasing the dragon. Cabs rarely turn up to the agreed meeting point, and a lot of the time are various kinds of unpleasant verging on dangerous. Still not as unappetizing as a walk through the Loin.

Today instead of the usual cab ride bullshit of toxic masculinity and a demand that I converse, a little note flipped up on my phone saying “Jesus is on the way.” I snorted with laugher. Made a few jokes about various beloved friends of mine needed a screen shot of that, as it would tickle them too. I know, I know…bleed all the fun out of it, it’s pronounced hey-seus, but it was cute as heck. Jesus turned up in a white Dodge on the correct side of the road, agreed pick up point, and drove safely and quietly to my destination, with not a quip or demand. He thanked me politely and played gloriously crazy mariachi music and Spanish language ballads that he quietly sung along with as the mid afternoon sparkled and shone and glittered in the way that only July in California can. Gough Street passed by at a moderate pace, boys on skateboards, women in masks laughing with guys on bicycles. Dogs being walked, balls being thrown. Jesus seemed so happy and content with life that it was contagious.

The city was skipping along, full of the joys of warmer weather and the glorious fact that we had rain in the morning, enough rain to make the morning smell new and freshly laundered. Pulling into the ‘Loin, past Civic Center drearyness, the grey taking the shine of the day, everything became colder. Darker. Sadder. No yapping corgis biting their own leashes, just the occasional pitbull with an attitude problem and no master. No guys on bicycles talking to girls smiling under masks, just people vaccinating themselves in doorways, and smoking fent in the gutter. No ball games, unless they were eight ball plays for the Kingdom. I almost asked Jesus to turn around, drive back, drive around the city with the nylon string guitar music and ballads he was feeling with his soul. Instead we stopped, me and the Boy climbed out, I tucked the seatbelt back into the seat and out the way of the door. “Thank you, Jesus, nice music!” He returned with thanks and a small smile and a heartfelt giggle. The world needs more Jesus’s in white chargers, or at least another brand of Dodge.

Man Mountain, and Man-Medium-Mountain were standing sentry, reassuringly, two solid protective, reliably sweetly masculine figures. I feel better with them there, staring out at the alleyway, keeping the would-be predators at bay.

Making our way into the room, feeling bouyed on decency and Spanish ballads, sunshine and summer, it almost felt safe. It almost felt ok. It almost felt good.

I turned on the laptop, fired up the news. None of it good. So I turned off, tuned out, and dropped into a bout of writing and daydreaming instead. Perhaps that might provide the way back to something brighter….


  1. Time Traveler of Life

    I feel your pain, in my mind. I think you are one of the strong ones, like my Mother! No matter what life threw at her, she stood tall, toe to toe with woman bashing men and won many of the battles. I wish I was as strong. I am glad you are like her, she would be proud of you.

    1. The Paltry Sum

      That is so loving of you to say! Thank you so very much. She sounds like a real fighter! Thank you so very much. Sending huge love and hugs to you today. How is everything? xxx

  2. Time Traveler of Life

    I am doing very good. Not much in the pain department. The upside is I could never have afforded all the tests they took separately on Medicare. Everything checked out AOK so I am looking at 100 years old in my future!

  3. Time Traveler of Life

    That sounds like fun. Meet at a resort or restaurant. We could put out a call for bloggers we like and see how many show up. I want to have a T-shirt that says, “Don’t piss off a writer; she will put you in a book and kill you!” Want a cup, too! I am glad I am on the mend too! I have got things to do. I am learning podcasts.

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