Hay-Soose, the Dart, and Iggy Pop (a 30:30 Report)

05/24/2020 1 By BuddyCushman

– I was softly singing “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” when I walked into the pinball arcade in Swifts Beach, which is one of the beach communities in my hometown, street after street, all dirt, of small uninsulated cottages jammed up close which swell the town population four times for three months and earn many of the businesses their big bucks for the year. Why a lot of stores are closed much of the time outside those hot fun in the summer days. But, that’s a geography economics lesson which is honestly far beyond my brain’s comprehension, kind of the opposite of singing….

And what better song entering a den of deviousness and chronically questionable characters than a little ditty about Jesus (which I like to pronounce “Hay-soose” like my south of the border brethren – not that I’ve been farther south than Delaware but I do have tv in the living room at home and stay up to date on current events re: world comings and goings with shows like ‘Adam-12’ and ‘The Mitch Miller Hour’. Be there or be square). So I’m cruising through the rows of psychedelic lighted machines and pinball noises and bings and whams and whooshes and ding dongs when in front of me comes this rather large chap – think sasquatch clone – and asks me what the hell I’m doing in his house. That’s what he says – his house, like I walked into his front door of something, which whatever Bro, can’t wrap my head around that what with free enterprise plus I’ve been coming here the last six years or so, ever since I learned to hitchhike at age 10, so I say this – “It’s a free country.”

And we all know this is in fact bullshit, that you have to pay to do most things and get into most places plus my parents flip out every April with the tax man thing and our big money owed list at Beaton’s grocery store down the street so, yeah, free, my ass, the point here in this particular place and potentially ugly circumstance being that if I want to drag my cute little butt into the Swifts Beach pinball emporium (my fun word) then, well Hay-soose, I believe I will. Which yay for me but the giant and rather unpleasant facially expressed moon man in front of me says words to the effect that him and me are going to take it outside and settle this thing after which time the clarity of this being “his house” will be made clear on what’s left of my face prior to surgical reconstruction, and left with the choice of that fun medical likelihood or turning tail and running, which that option is raising its hand over there in the shadows yelling “pick me, pick me”, instead I take a step closer to Harv (I never learned that dude’s name but Harv made me think he was basically a pleasant and gentle soul) and I look at him directly – like, really look him straight in the eyes and I’m guessing this young man has not had that experience a whole lot in his time on the planet so far — and I hesitate a moment and then say to him, “You and me are brothers, Bro.” And he stares and stares and I see the muscles under the skin of his face move a little one place then another like there could be worms or something sliding along down there and he says back to me and I bet it’s the very first time he’s ever said anything with a stutter, he says, “Wa, wa, wa, watch your step.”, which is the sum total of his reply to my unimaginable not running or not being reduced to a bleeding pulp out back personage and he turns around and walks back to a machine and drops in a quarter and you have just heard what will be forever known going forward as “Hay-soose and the Pleasure Machines” when I relate this tale around campfires and in back seats of cars to impress smokin’ hot young ladies or should someday I become a Boy Scout leader, yeah, this is a story of simply doing the next right thing because, deep down, you know that you have a friend in you know who.

This little incident happened last week but in a moment of time travel here let me jump ahead a couple decades, as this arcade trip brings to mind the introductory tune of the cutting edge Bronx hip-hoppers Wu-Tang Clan and their “Watch your step, kid.” Check it out, they be coming at you. And I frankly dig that tune a lot and it’s got soul and bounce which is how I think about the aforementioned event in the arcade, soul and bounce and faith that people generally are nice and want to be warm and fuzzy when they ain’t trapped in some hard ass persona, and can you dig that, Mona? Meanwhile I have just now time traveled not quite so far ahead, a few years, and I am a junior at a college up on the north shore and it’s a Friday night, maybe only ten or so, and I am in the car’s back seat with a girl named Sally Jean and we are having serious mouth-to-mouth activity, temperatures rising Brah, and this particular co-ed is about three inches taller than me in real life, like when standing in front of the student union handing out leaflets, and I don’t know if you give a lot of thought to what it’s like for a guy to make out with a girl three inches taller than him but in this particular case right here and now it don’t mean shit, my man, you just find a way, squirm and negotiate and crunch around and wiggle and be all yoga-like and I do not need Sony and his girl pal Cher to let me know that the beat goes on. And we are parked in her ‘76 Dodge Dart so it’s a little cramped on the back bench but I don’t hear anyone complaining and in between our bodily connection she starts telling me that she was in a similar position one time with Iggy Pop back when she lived in Detroit where she grew up nearby and he turned out to be kind of an asshole, at least to her, the old wham bam thank you girlfriend thing and she’s hoping I’ll be a little more, say, sensitive, and righteously forthcoming with my feelings, which I try to catch my breath long enough to say “yup”,

And I haven’t said this yet but across the street from the Dart is a three story house and I live on the second-floor with my roommate from back in the old hometown, Sir Rick Fluming, and also a guy we both met when we transferred up her from the community college down the Cape, his name, well its all he’s shared with us so far, is Teddy Bear. Really. He kind of looks like a round and poly guy and he is truly sugary sweet unless you get him talking about Republicans, but a funny thing about our apartment is that there is a room off to the right at the top of the stairs – I didn’t tell you the third floor must be unoccupied because there aren’t any stairs up to it, unless the landlady down below has an elevator or something, anyway this spare room we don’t use, well we decided one cold winter night instead of an ass-freezing trip down to the curbside we’d put our overflowing garbage bag in that vacant room until it warmed up, like in May, and we have been adding garbage to it for months now, it’s a sight for sure, and when we were passing around some Columbian two nights ago we got talking – me and Teddy Bear and Sir Rick – about which one of us was going to put papers in to city hall announcing our candidacy for the Board of Health and I cannot remembering any three people ever laughing so hard, especially since that shit is for real and no doubt this town could use some new blood, which by the way my blood was flowing big time out in the Dart and I will get back to long tall Sally Jean maybe next time.

Here’s one thing – I ain’t no Iggy.