Letters from the Lunar Outpost

We are negative in our relationships with that which is of a higher potential than we are; and we are positive in our relationships with that which has a lower potential. This is a relationship which is in a perpetual state of flux, and which varies at every separate point at which we make our innumerable contracts with our environment.
- Kabbalah, Jewish Esoteric Doctrine (B.C. 1200?-700? A.D.)

A beer bong had been left at our apartment by a friend named Greg and soon it became the life of our nightly parties. Whenever things got to a lull, you could always charge up the place by picking an unsuspecting girl and soon everyone would be chanting for her to down it. You had to love it when they would almost inevitably end up spilling half those golden suds all over themselves and anyone else close by.

I was into doing King Cobra 40 oz. malt liquors in the beer bong. They were only 99 cents at the liquor store across the street and three or four of those would usually be enough to get me going.

I was getting alot of practice with the beer bong morning, noon and night. My ability with it was becoming legendary. I didn’t remember doing it, but I was told of one night when I was on my sixth or seventh and started losing my balance halfway through . . . I was inbetween the couch and the coffee table and as I leaned back to down it, I started falling backwards. The couch was directly behind me and there was no room for me to take a couple steps back and regain my balance so I began to lean forward, but I adjusted too hard and fell over the coffee table in front of me. I twisted as I fell, landing on my back and I hit the floor hard but I finished that last half laid out on the floor to the hoots and hollers of everyone there. Not a drop was wasted.

One evening I was with some chicks and we went to an AM/PM. The guy working there was a Mexican and he thought my friends were cute. He told me he had some coke and some pot. I told him where I lived and to come on over. He arrived with a twelve pack as well as the coke and pot. The chicks weren’t even remotely interested in any Mexican who worked at an AM/PM, but I got properly buzzed. I introduced him to the joys of beer bonging. He loved it. It wasn’t mine to sell, but I was broke and drunk out of my mind and ended up selling it for ten bucks. That was the end of the beer bong days in Anaheim.

We had been getting a lot of complaints for our parties. It seems our neighbors didn’t have every day off like we did. They had to wake up early in the mornings and go to work. They didn’t appreciate all the racket going on at 302.

When we first moved in, our manager told us that this was a quiet, family apartment complex. I told her that this was just what Bill and I were looking for. We did all our partying out at clubs and with our bands on stage, I explained. What we really needed was a quiet place to come home to.

And I think I really believed it as I told her this. It just didn’t end up that way.

The straw that broke the camel’s back was inevitable. We could feel an eviction notice was on it’s way after the steady stream of complaints that arrived in our mail box and were taped to our door.

One night, we were drinking and playing the music loud and my next door neighbor Steve walks in with this chick and she strolls over to my phone and uses it. I look at him quizzically, like who the hell is this, he just shrugs his shoulders and I tell myself, “Whatever.” I find out later that he just met her and she says she’s too drunk to drive and she needs her boyfriend to come and pick her up and take her back to Long Beach.

Well, not only is she too drunk to drive, but she’s also too drunk to use the phone, though she might have been mildly retarded or dyslexic. Anyway, she had me dial the number and I made sure to memorize her calling card code.

Next she says she needs to see some friends and she’ll get me some free crystal if I only take her to where her friends are. She says they live right down the street.

I get in her car and it was a VW bug that ran begrudgingly at best. It was making me sweat, just trying to shift the gears and keep it moving.

“That’s the building!” she said. “No wait a minute, that’s the one.” This went on for some time until I finally parked at a 7-11 and started walking home. She wouldn’t leave me alone. What a sucker I was for a little crystal.

We knocked on some doors and it was obvious she didn’t know where the hell her friends were. She called an apartment manager and asked her if Jeff lived there. I was amazed at this chick’s stupidity. We finally went to one last building when all of a sudden her friends pull up in front of us. That’s when I realized what a mistake I had made. They were eyeing me as if to say, “Who the hell is he? We don’t know this guy.” She walked up to the car and I remained where I was, back about twenty feet.

Finally, she told me to come up and meet her friends. The two guys in the front seat were holding cans of plain-wrap beer. I looked at the hand of the guy in the passenger seat and saw that there were only two fingers wrapped around his can and stumps where the other two should have been. In the back seat was a comatose chick in a straw hat and dark shades. These people were the embodiment of how a life of back alley drug deals can lead to nothing more to show for it than mising fingers and missing teeth.

She wanted me to come along but I felt my mission was over. I just walked away as she pleaded with me to join them. Her friends weren’t very big on the idea, anyway. I was glad to be out of the situation. I thought it was all over.

The partying continued at our pad. We were all having a good time when she came back about a half an hour later. I was going to make her wait outside but she bribed me with a couple badly needed twelve packs of Bud Light. I couldn’t resist. Budweiser was quite a step up from the cheap stuff we’d been drinking and we were about out of it, anyway.

She called her boyfriend again and from our side of the conversation it seemed he was very concerned with what she was doing over here. Little did we know she had been out the night before and hadn’t checked in and naturally, he assumed she’d been partying with us.

When he arrived, we were ready for trouble. The boyfriend was wiry and jittery and seemed on the verge of flipping out. She had told us of how he was a coke dealer and it was plain to see he had obviously dealt himself more than a little. He also had an enormous black friend accompanying him, but in stark contrast to the sketchy boyfriend, this guy was as calm as could be. As my friends tried to calm the boyfriend while he was screaming at his chick, I took the inititive to shake hands with the black behemoth, but as I reached my hand out, he made a fist and placed it against his chest. It looked like some type of Indian gesture or some sign language, but it wasn’t really a threatening move. Dude doesn’t want to shake my hand? Whatever. I told him he could go back to the kitchen and grab a beer.

As the black guy walked back towards the kitchen, our attention remained fixed on the boyfriend as we tried to calm him and keep him from beating his girl or at the very least, to take any beatings outside the apartment. Out of nowhere, next thing we knew, a look of panic flashed across the boyfriend’s face and they were suddenly, abruptly scrambling like the dickens to leave. Our neighbor recalled later that she saw the boyfriend literally throw the girl out the door and she tripped and smacked her head hard on the outside walkway.

A couple minutes later, I’m reflecting on how peace has finally returned and enjoying the feeling of peacefulness flowing through me and out of me as I was taking a piss, when suddenly I heard someone shout “Greg got thrown off the balcony!!!” The words didn’t register. All my drunken mind could manage was a “Whaaa?” type of thought. I had left the bathroom door open though, and as I looked over my shoulder, I saw four or five of my friends go racing out the door – zoom, zoom, zoom – I finished quickly and shook it off and ran down to see what had happened.

We raced out to the front of the apartment and someone shouted, “There he is!” The boyfriend was behind a few cars stopped at a red light. We descended upon him with a hail of beer bottles and then Steve, the guy who had brought all this shit to our apartment in the first place, made a small measure of amends with a beautiful karate kick that blew in the driver’s side window. But wouldn’t you know it, just as we were able to drag him out and a split second from beating the shit out of this guy, with timing like a Hollywood scene, police cars showed up simultaneously from three directions at the intersection.

The police cars were followed by two fire engines and an ambulance.

Greg laid sprawled out three stories beneath our balcony in an empty parking spot in the lot. He was in shock, thank God. I told him he’d be alright, that we love him, and that the guys who take him away and the guys who treat him will take the best possible care of him. It took him quite some time before he could walk again and they had to put some pins in his leg, but he was lucky to be alive.

I remember looking around at all the neighbors congregated in the parking lot and I could read the thoughts flashing through their heads as they looked down at Greg laying there in a crippled heap and then up to the balcony from which he’d fallen. “Yep, it’s 302 again. That’s it. They are SO out of here!”

Poor Greg, he’d been out on that balcony just minding his own business. And while all of our attention was on this boyfriend drug dealer making a scene, that black dude just calmly walked straight out to the balcony, lifted Greg and rolled him over and off the railing. And as we were all eyes on the boyfriend, he was the only other person in the apartment to witness what his goon had done. We saw the realization cross his face, the shock and his sudden scramble to get the hell out of there, but we just couldn’t grasp what we were seeing through his eyes.

Random violence, innocent bystanders. The carefree summer of our beer bong days in Anaheim had given way to something dark and ominous.

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Team of Rivals
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