Author Archives: Jake

MISSED CONNECTION: We shared a seat on a NJ Transit bus from Atlantic City on Memorial Day

I was returning from a magical Memorial Day weekend in Stone Harbor, Jersey Shore. I was ensconced in the aisle seat of this New Jersey Transit bus and had done my best to keep any riff raff out of the window seat next to me. I left it littered with my Wawa sandwich wrapper and empty Mountain Dew bottle that may or may not have had a future as a piss jug.

But when we stopped in Atlantic City aka the Jewel of New Jersey and you sashayed your sexy self onto that bus and into my life, I quickly cleared that unclaimed patch of frayed fabric and prayed you would pick up what I was putting down. You bounced down the aisle, your black muppet-shag jacket and matching beanie pouncing in rhythm with your prance. My prayers were answered when you asked if I would get up. As soon as you opened your mouth your smile melted my hardened heart. Less a glistening set of ivories and more a picket-rowed collection of wooden stubs, worn and yellowed as though they had been clumsily shaped by an unsteady hand with a bucket of urine-stained sandpaper.

I stood up to let you in, both literally and figuratively. And as you slid inside of me and into the window seat, I got two big lungfuls of stale cigarette stank, hopefully having saturated into your dazzling rags from a long weekend of relentlessly toking off-brand smokes smuggled up from the tobacco tax havens of Virginia or either Carolina. How disappointed I would have been had you smelled of Chanel No. 5 or Blue Glow by JLo.

You settled in right quick and started talking. Presumably to yourself. Maybe to me, perhaps I’ll never know. My heart was still skipping beats like a three legged horse galloping toward the sunset on a secluded Staten Island beach, so I still had my ear buds in to convey an air of casual indifference, when really it was all I could do to not reach over and hold your hand. That hand. The one adorned with “Keith Richards fingers.” Those dreamy fingers blessed with elephantitis of the final knuckles, the ones closest to your chewed down fingernails, unmolested by even the remnants of varnish.

I’ve always wondered how one develops those digits. Is it heroin? Meth? The gout? Is it the untold years of a plethora of combined vices, adding up mileage and waging war on your pleasure receptors? Do you find yourself one day just sprawling your hand down on the pavement outside of the shelter and smacking your fingers with a rusty tire iron just so you can feel SOMETHING?

Or it it just blind luck in the genetic lottery? Will you fill me in one day? I have so many questions, and no answers. Yet.

Right as I resigned myself to the sinking feeling that I would never muster up the chutzpah to utter a word to you, you started stirring and shaking and poked me in the ribs, puckering your lilac tinted lips. I removed my earbuds just in time to hear you croak “Are you getting off in Tom’s Rivah or Noo Yawk?”

I considered all sorts of witty and dashing retorts until I chose to let the truth set me free. “New York” I said, to which you replied “Well I’m getting out it Tom’s River”

With a wide smile, and without any sense of sarcasm, I said “Awwww I’m gonna miss you!” You smiled wide and said “I’m gonna miss you too, sweetheart! Please shake me when we get to Tom’s Rivah!” I promised you I would do no such thing. That I would just brush your arm tenderly to alert you that we had arrived. “I’ll be gentle,” I whispered. You smiled again and then pulled your beanie down and went back to sleep.

When we arrived at Tom’s River I held up my end of the bargain and gently rustled you awake, and rose to clean an escape route from our all too temporary love shack. Just then you turned to a group of young girls behind us and said “It was lovely meeting you all! Have a wonderful trip!” And they returned your greeting in kind, all with cheer in their voices and candid smiles. I too smiled at those girls and when I turned back to the aisle you were floating off the bus and out of my life. I instantly regretted not taking my ear buds out earlier and chatting with you, you beautiful thing, you.

Now I’m scared that I’ll never get the chance for a do-over.

If you’re out there, and reading this, and you’d maybe like to share a slice of pie sometime then hit me back here. Or maybe I’ll just frequent the Atlantic City – Tom’s River bus route in the coming months and see if fate reconnects us. God willing it will.

MISSED CONNECTIONhttps://newyork.craigslist.org/jsy/mis/6153551678.html

DAY 243 FELL ON MY 43RD BIRTHDAY

phillywall

So what are the chances?!?! That my 43rd birthday happens to fall on the 243rd day of this year. And my 243rd straight day of running. For Rodney.

3 Miles. Every Day. It started as 31 days and then the goal posts moved to 53 days after Rodney passed – one day for every year he was with us. Then I just said ‘Fukk it! How hard could it be to go every day for the whole year?!’ And it hasn’t been hard, per se, but it has been challenging. It’s taken me all over the world. It started in Thailand (where it’s going to end as well) and all throughout Asia and Europe and the US and A. I’ve run high up in the Swiss Alps, and down at Sea Levels. I’ve run through blazing heat topping 100 degrees and in literal blizzards. Through more jet lag and rain and puddles and sunshine and darkness, both literal and figurative. But I haven’t stopped.

I’ve been running through injuries – shin splints and plantar fasciitis – which has required me to change my running style. I’ve run with food poisoning which caused me to reshape my diet, and I’ve run with massive hangovers, which led me to just giving up booze altogether, and feeling much better all around because of it.

But by far the toughest thing I’ve had to run through is resistance. That devilish voice in the back of my head that tries to trick me out of getting out there and doing it. I’ve never met anybody who hasn’t had to battle resistance in one way or another. But all my favorite people in this world fight this fight valiantly every single day. Those are my friends. Those are my heroes.

So it’s taught me a lot about commitment. And stick-to-itiveness. And now I’ve gotten to the point where it’s not even a question of IF Im going to do it, it’s WHEN Im going to do it. And usually that’s first thing in the morning. I wake up, wherever I am, and start to shake the cobwebs out of my legs and feet. Those cobwebs are the only other constant I’ve had this year… No matter how much stretching, or rolling, or acupuncture or massage or Chinese herbs that I burn, I still wake up with creaky legs and feet every day. Which seems sort of fair give the pounding I’ve been putting on myself without any rest days. And on top of that addicting more and more miles and biking and swimming and triathlons to the mix just to keep things fresh…

But no matter what I just get up and do it. And after I do, I feel better for it. They say “The only bad run is the one you didn’t do.” And I believe that with all my heart, because every single day I feel better after the run than I did before. Which is what keeps me doing it day in and day out.

And every single day I think about Rockin Rodney Speed. All the good times we shared over the past 20+ years. And all the joy we brought each other. And how much his love means to me. Today. Tomorrow. Forever.

123 days to go. At the outset 31 days seemed like it was going to be impossible. Now 123 days seems like it it’s gonna be too soon to stop. So who knows what will happen after that? I’ve got some ideas…. And they are all insane.

If there’s something you’ve been meaning to do, here I am, doing what I used to think was impossible. right out here in the open. And encouraging you to go for it. After all, What’s the Worst That Could Happen?!?! #WTWTCH #3For366

HOLY SHIT THIS BAND IS GREAT

WEEN closed their show last night at Terminal 5 with a single encore. An epic version of Buenas Tardes Amigo. This band is just stupefyingly good live. what was a wildly raucous, unruly and drunken crowd all night long was quieted to reverential a hush during the verses, with subdued singalongs and some cheers for the more classic lines (interlaced wist da meat!) and roared to life with a wildly joyous singalong for the finale. Chills. When Gener puts on a Luchador mask, you know he ain’t fukken around. So baller. Totally worth selling a kidney if you need to in order to go see them again tonight.

Setlist:

Transdermal Celebration, Take Me Away, Learnin’ to Love, Big Jilm, Piss Up a Rope, Nan, Mister Richard Smoker, Stroker Ace, Transitions, Buckingham Green, Voodoo Lady, The Argus, I Play It Off Legit, Puerto Rican Power, Gabrielle, Wayne’s Pet Youngin, The Goin’ Gets Tough From the Getgo, Don’t Shit Where You Eat*, The Mollusk*, Stacey*, I Don’t Want to Leave You on the Farm*, Mutilated Lips*, Don’t Sweat It*, Put the Coke on My Dick, Demon Sweat, Ocean Man, Loop de Loop, How High Can You Fly?, Stay Forever, Tick, Papa Zit, Never Squeal> Drums> Improv/Jam> Never Squeal

  1. Encore: Buenas Tardes Amigo
    *acoustic