The Doors documentary is slowly slipping into shape. Every day though is intense. I'm trying to keep track of a hundred hours of footage in my brain, sifting through it over and over to glean the richest pieces. And the brain doesn't shut off when I turn out the light.
Thankfully, things have been quieter over here on the weedy side of The Loftes. I've found that working out for an hour when I get home helps me sleep. Yes, The Loftes has a Fitnesse Centre too. Usually the place is empty when I get in there around 6:30. That's why I was surprised to see a guy in a white track suit smashing some weights around last night when I walked in.
I was still on edge from another notice I'd received from the Management that morning:
Dear Tenants, all are invited to a special evening with Capt. Rodeo from the 24th Precinct on Sunday near the Cafe Nooke. In light of the recent "incident" Capt. Rodeo will explain proper use of your personal firearms on an individual basis. Muffins and lattes will be served.
That's why I kept an eye on my gymmate. He was about 45, short and thick with a knotty bald head and a sharply protruding chin. He looked like he might have come from a 1-night stand between Popeye's father and Bluto's mother. He did a set of bicep curls with two 50lb dumbells, threw them to the floor and suddenly walked up to me, gasping for breath.
"Hey, dude. I'm Tregor."
When his hand came up I flinched and almost counter-punched. But it was a handshake he was offering. Nonetheless, when I took it I kept looking in his squinty little eyes to see if he knew I was the Tom who'd yelled out the window for him to shut up only one Tuesday ago.
After 5 minutes I still saw no sign of recognition. By then Tregor had decided I was his new best friend. I told him I'd been studying boxing for 3 years. He said he could tell. We talked about a couple of fights we'd seen recently and then he said,
"I used to fight; bareknuckle in Reno. See my hand? No knuckles. All wore off. I fought 2 minute rounds until one of us coont get up. An' I'll tell you, Tommy, many times that person was me."
As close as we'd become I still didn't feel totally at ease with Tregor. I kept wondering if Donny had actually told him my name. And I suppose him telling me he'd spent two thirds of his life in "carceration" might not have helped. He said he'd been one crazy motherfucker. He'd shot people, been shot, stabbed, run heroin, sold coke, sold women, lived high, lived low--all his experiences serving only to prove to him that the world was one giant shithole.
"Well, Treg," I said. "I guess I've felt that way too sometimes but you know, life's not all bad."
He squinted at me for a long moment. "Yeah, maybe you're right, T. See, I've turned my whole life around now. I've got a samurai sword in my apartment. Sharp as shit but I've never even used it."
"Good for you," I said.
"Yep, I got a lot of things goin' on now. I run my own security company. Called 'Hey You.' Every heard of it?"
"No, I'm not really from here."
Tregor stepped up close again. "See, my current fiancee is in the adult entertainment business. And a lot of those adult stars--chicks now I'm talkin' about--they get hassled. A lot sick fucks out there, Tommy. These dirtbags start followin' these girls. Stalkin' 'em. An' me, I'm stalkin' them. See, a stalker never looks behind him. He's always lookin' ahead, focusin' on the girl he's stalkin'. So I just ease up on him, tap him on the shoulder and say, 'Hey You--that's the name of my company--and BAP I give 'im the tazer."
"You're allowed to shock people?"
"You bet yer ass. 450 volts, motherfucker. Then he's down and I'll give him one or two bootkicks in the head. Always aim for the ear--that hurts like shit. You should hear 'em scream. Then I'll drag 'em up, look 'em in the eye and BAM BAM give 'em a left then a straight right to the teeth just so they remember me."
"Wow. Sounds like a pretty intense business, Tregor."
I was about to start some shadow boxing when he stopped me. He stepped up and peered at me closely. "What apartment are you in, T?"
"399," I lied.
"Lookin' over the pool?"
"No, I'm way in the back." This was true.
He stepped closer. "You ain't never been in a fight, have you?"
"How can you tell?"
"Your nose ain't broke. See mine? Broke at least 35 times. I set it myself at least twice. First time I broke it I was between some girl's legs. Doin' some conny linguous."
I stared at him. "And you broke your nose?"
"Yeah. I was into it. You ever done conny linguous?" Tregor asked with genuine curiosity.
I admitted I had.
"Good for you, Tommy. Girls dig that. Bein' around the adult entertainment business you learn a few things. Check it out. Straight chicks would rather do a muff--divin' scene with another chick than have to get it on with a dude. You know why?"
"No, I don't," I confessed.
"Because they don't have to deal with a guy's bullshit. With another chick it's just lickety-split and then, 'See you tomorrow, Candy'. With a dude it always gets weird and personal. He's always askin', 'How was it for you, babe? Do you dig me? Was I the best you ever had?'"
Tregor walked away from me then turned back with a weary sigh of disgust. "You see, T? Men are scumbags. All of 'em. And you know what? Women are too."
I couldn't stop myself. I said, "Well, Treg, that kind of leaves out any hope for humanity, doesn't it?"
This time he stared at me for a full 10 seconds. Finally he said, "You know what, Tommy? I like you. You got a positive attitude. That's somethin' I been workin' on. I'm havin' a party on my balcony Thursday night. I want you there."
"Oh, thanks, Tregor," I said. "But, I'm getting up pretty early these days."
"Fuck that," Tregor snorted. "Come by for 10 minutes. There'll be some ladies there from the adult entertainment business. You won't be disappointed. Plus, I wanna show you this genuine samurai sword I got."
Before I could reply he shook my hand and walked out.
Thanks very much for taking the time to resend your comment. I really appreciate the detail you put into it.
Hello! I don’t save my posts either, here’s a repost… I saw Living in Oblivion again as a result of getting Johnny Suede, enjoying the movie and commentary track, finding your blog (thanks for the writing advice, totally helping me out) watching Delirious, and then watching Living in Oblivion after last seeing it over a decade ago at the Enzian Theater.
Best, Anthony Torres
Thanks for writing. I’ll tell Tregor he’s got to come find you and go a couple 2 minute rounds with you.
I sincerely appreciate your support of my films. You know they comprise the efforts of many, many people. I feel blessed every time I get the chance to make one.
Your Tregor story is basically the story of my entire youth.
Keep up the good work and get paid this time.
It does make one feel proud to have prompted a spit take.
Nothing like conversating with real people as Tregor would say.
My best to you.