Saturday, February 7, 2009

Moonpie One: Pages 13 &14

Here we see Rick getting a little heavier into the entries. On the left page, we have the actual note that our art teacher, Tim Burns, wrote and gave to Vance's Photography teacher to give to Vance. We never were sure of the purpose, though I suspect it involved an attempt at humor. Now that I'm an old man, I guess I sort of get it. The note reads:
"Susan- Message from Mom of Vance Deniston. Tell him to bring home a loaf of bread after school. T.B."
The text surrounding the note reads:
Later that day; we’ve compromised! We will ride the bus as far as ft. smith Arkansas and Thumb the rest of the way. egads!
Earlier that day, vance gets this message that nearly calls off the trip due to resulting confusion
On the right page, we read of advances.
next day: Gary Gober is going to drive us to memphis. Yowie zowie. Also the previous plan will be our back up plan.
I'm memory serves (which it rarely does), Gober had his old man's car which was a Ford Galaxie 500 with a balanced and blueprinted Police Interceptor engine. Fuckin' A! I remember the trip to Gober's house to discuss the plan. Maybe it wasn't Gober, but I remember whoevers house it was whose old man had that car. That was where I left my tooled leather visor.
[NOTE: A search on Google for "Gary Gober" turned this up...."Gary Gober - Blockbuster Online. Gary Gober Trivia. Who did Gary Gober portray in At Close Range? Gary Gober was District Attorney in At Close Range. Want to watch Gary Gober movies? ..."]
Next up was a reference to our camping trip. This was the one where I shot Jim Jones in the back of the thigh COMPLETELY A FLUKE with a soft pine cone, using a wrist rocket. Jones went ballistic and through a fucking 300 pound boulder. He was sucha drama queen. I mean, the welt it raised couldn't have been more than three or four inches.
May 30 & 31st
We went camping in the Sandias to prove our studliness and sheer ability to survive. We ate cactus and it tasted like snot.
It's true, we did.
And then this next which... I can't begin to explain this next part and the course of events it set up. I will, just not yet. Anyway, I thought it would be a great idea for us to write more in the book, and what better thing to write about for posterity, but why we were doing this. So I make the statement:
At this point I feel it is necesry (sic) for us t0 put in the reasons for us attempting this:
Rick: I need to prove to myself that I can live by my own wits and cunning. Also before this trip idea I was super-hyper. But I got int it and it was my main reason for living in other words the only way to retain my sanity. However since the end of the pre-expidition I have Become uptite (sic) and hyper. You see I was Born to be wild. I like smoking lightinin every bit of thunder rollin’ (sic) with the wind and the feeling that Im (sic) under, fite (sic) all of the guns at once and explode into space and like a true natures child I was Born, Born to be wild… oh uh I’m sorry.
I was just getting silly. It was a total goof. But then Vance answers. It starts out, kind of serious sounding:
Vance: Im really not sure why I’m going. It could be because…

Continued on next page.

The Duncan Eater

When I was a youngun, up in Canada, my uncle Albert, who was 9 years older than me lived with us after my grandmother died. He used to tease me mercilessly with tales of "The Duncan Eater," a sort of boogie-man. I'm not sure what exactly the Duncan Eater was supposed to be, and it was just today that it occurred to me that he may have been saying something else entirely. Anyway,this story was written for a class where we were supposed to base a story on our earliest memory. This thinkg just kind of flowed and, while it's not at all like the type of stories I normally write, I kind of dig it.

It is the color of daisies—the middle part—that yellow. But softer. I see it as I float down, downward. A recession, maybe, is a better word; though in the Army’s Officer Candidate School, they called it retrograde. Retreat. Whatever. It was moving backwards. It was a bright light I was moving back from. The yellow is really in my peripheral vision, both eyes working now/again.

I drop further until I am surrounded by the bars. Wooden. White. No doubt of lead paint. They could do that then/now. You went blind if you ate the paint chips. The bars of painted pine feel more assuring, though, than the ones of bamboo, and I feel a sense of gratitude. There is not an Army word for gratitude. When you are grateful, it’s all about God, the Universe, the Great Thankful Unknown.

It’s a prison of sorts. One I’m ill-equipped to escape. I’m ill. Not equipped. I’ve escaped. I’ve escaped the bamboo one and returned here to the white pine.
There is a mattress beneath my back. It’s uncomfortable. It’s not a straw tick. I don’t care. It’s not got ticks or fleas. That’s good. It seems. It seems it should be good. I can’t remember why.

I can see him there, off to my left. He floats too. His golden sardonic face. Eyes like X’s, like a cartoon guy that’s been knocked unconscious or killed. Shirt! I’ve had X’s for eyes. Shirt? Is that the word? Shid? I try it on my tongue, but it doesn’t play. I talk to him. He’s got a name and I know the name. The Duncan Eater. I know this because my dead uncle told me/will tell me in a few years, will in fact terrify me with the documentary-like detail of how the Duncan Eater lives under my bed, and there in the flashlight glow on the wall, and in the cellar with the toads. Then my uncle will die. I want to tell him that, but I know he is only nine now. He won’t understand. Won’t know the Duncan Eater seeks him as well.

The Duncan Eater’s not floating. He’s sitting on something, a chair maybe. A desk? A nightstand. The walls. It’s the walls that are yellow. Not the Duncan Eater. I don’t fear him anymore/yet. He can’t hurt me now. There can be no more beatings. No more torture. Can’t take my eye again, can’t use the bamboo sliver to steal it. I was the last one. We’re all safe now. I guess. Safe in the arms of Jesus for some. The endless void for others, hurtling through space as a zillion tiny atoms. Maybe a few, like me, get sent back, to do it again, to start over. I’m back here again.

I hear the murmur from somewhere in the house. They are coming. There is the hand on the doorknob. It’s there. I hear the clack, as the hand touches it, making that little rectangular metal rod that runs from crystal knob to crystal knob teeter in its socket. What in God’s name is that smell?! Is it me? Have I shadded my pants? Shipped? Shit? That’s the word. I remember. I don’t want to. Not me. Not me. Him. It’s him and his poopy-stink of grave-breath death-rot.

I hear the murmur from somewhere in the house. They moved us here when the Americans got close. Reports said it was the 25th Infantry grunts and a regiment of ARVN for support. Moved us to an estate house with bamboo cages in a basement that flooded. I look at the Duncan Eater sitting on the shelf or the dresser or the ‘whatever’ and the murmur of voices becomes clearer. “You gonna die, G.I.” is what the Duncan Eater says.

I hear the murmur from somewhere in the house and I hear the clack as the hand touches the knob. I turn my head expectantly for Mummy. I can’t help it. A nipple brushed across a baby’s cheek brings a turning reaction as it seeks milk. Seeks its Mum its Mama its Mamamam. It’s the sound the baby makes as it nurses, its gums working the teat. Mamamamamammm. I know this now/will know this when I am an old, old, toothless man. Even in my VFW cap, chairbound and wrapped in a blanket, waiving my tiny flag, I will know this and will turn my cheek toward sustenance.

When they put us in the house there was a woman there. We all called her… we all… all. By “all” I mean the four of us left then. The rest, the other seventy-six, died. Killed. Murdered. Making the Ultimate Sacrifice, they were, ultimately, sacrificed. We had no information left to give. We were tortured for spite.

We called her “Suki the Saigon Slut.” Old Chas Cong would send her in to fut with our heads. Fut. Fup. Fupped. What is the word again? They tied us… bound us… yes… to a length of bamboo – across our back. Our arms hooked over that and our wrists bound in front. Suki stripped down and she danced in front of us. She’d stick her mams in our face. Her mams. Her…. Ta-taas… her… she’d brush her nipples across our cheeks, pulling away at the last moment. Teasing us. Our faces turned. We sought our Mums. She’d…

I hear the murmur from somewhere in the house and I hear the clack as the hand touches the knob. I turn my head expectantly for Mummy. I see the pretty doorknob, its faceted glass that catches the light. I just noticed that the yellow is the paint on the walls in this room and that… that’s all. I just noticed. Clickety-click like the cocking of Colonel Khúc’s service revolver. He did it slowly like that. And the doorknob revolves with that sound and Mummy opens the door.

I look up from my crib. I’m how old? I don’t know… eighteen months? I can’t tell, because I’m a baby. I don’t have a grasp on temporal issues. I don’t even think I’ve grasped object-permanence yet. No, I must know that. Just because one can no longer see an object doesn’t mean it is not there. I know.

I know she’s come in because I can hear her. She’s talking to another Mummy.
“Is he awake?” the other asks. She’s got a British accent. It’s Gram.
“I’m not sure,” says Mummy. Their heads appear over the top of my crib. “He’s starting to wake,” she says. “Hi, Rickey.”

They’ve snuck in and they look straight down at me smiling. Behind Gram stands the Duncan Eater and I know now how old I am. Or close. I know I’m less than two. Gram dies when I’m two. The Duncan Eater is there for her, not me. I hold out my hands. I want to tell her that it’s not so bad. You can go back and start it all again, if that’s what you believe. I want to tell her. I hold out my arms. But Mummy and Gram move back away. They are receding. They are engaged in retrograde. We never retreat. Retreat is for the weak. I hear the murmur from somewhere in the house and I hear the clack as the hand touches the knob.

I hear the clickety-click like the turning of the pretty glass doorknobs in that funny-smelling yellow room in that little town. I hear the clickety-click as Colonel Khúc cocks his pistol again and the cylinder rotates. I am kneeling, facing him, a dirt pit to my back. My torso is numb – I don’t feel the bamboo strapped to my arms any more. I’m twenty-two months/years old. What in God’s name is that smell?! Sulfur? Saltpeter? Gunsmoke. There were four of us kneeling. Now my ears ring and I’m the only one left. The others quietly cuddle in the pit behind me. Blue smoke wafts from Colonel Khúc’s service revolver like a tiny dancing specter.

I hear a firefight. Under a klick from here. 16’s and 60’s laying it on thick, pounding the bush. AK’s responding less and less. 5th Cav Huey blades thocking nearer. And an A-1 Skyraider. I hear an A-1. Open your mouth, Rickey! Here comes the airplane! Someone has called in a napalm strike. They’re going to flambé Mr. Charles Cong.

Colonel Khúc. Ras. Apollyon. Shiva. The Destroyer. The Duncan Eater. He is pointing the revolver at me. My only eye sees what it sees. It sees the A-1 clear the treeline and the drum released, tumbling end over end towards us. And too, it sees each bead of sweat on Colonel Khúc’s upper lip as he jerks the trigger. The cylinder revolves. Turns. Wheel of Life, Wheel of Death. Lead nipple brushes my cheek. My face turns. Mummy! Cylinder revolves. Turns. Wasp sting. The bullet-wasp burrows in above my dead right eye, laying eggs so that its young may feed. The napalm drum hits the ground and ignites and as I fall back into the pit I see the yellow of its flame. It is the color of daisies — the middle part — that yellow. But softer. I see it as I float down, downward.

©2007 Rick Raab-Faber

Demi-Gods of Music

When we were young, these guys were one of the biggest influences on our lives. They had that raw, youthful energy that... No, wait. I'm thinking of Neil Diamond. Spinal Tap was just... well... Yeah.

Whats a Typewriter?

"Elite or Pica", you decide the print size and of course there were over 45 Fonts to choose from in the '7o's.
What you are looking at is an IBM 'element' that you could switch with ease. $20.00 ea. in those days unless you bought the knockoffs for $14.00. Today, these are just landfill. After my stint as a busboy/dishwasher and trying my hand at the hardware trade working at Baldridge Lumber, I became a typewriter repairman. First working at Sandia business machines on San Mateo and then hitting the big-time and landing a job at Albuquerque Public schools Maintenance and operations division. My first lesson there was to SLOW DOWN, I was repairing machines too quickly. (What's green and sleeps three? APS work truck.) Today the trucks are white and not that awful seafoam green. In the first job I would go to Kirtland AFB and pickup all the repair slips that had been called in the previous 24hrs. I'd finish the base by noon, blow another doobie and head for the office to pickup repair calls for downtown. APD, The courts, both Fed. and county and other city agencies. I was the hot lick in those days and the women in those offices would literally run to hug me when the elevator door would open, this was heaven. This was in the day of two Martini lunches, pre-sexual harassment laws and half the secretaries wore very short skirts and tight ass tops. I made decent money too. I just knew this would last forever. At the schools, I would go into the classrooms during school hours with tons of 'chicks' everywhere. I'd be at parties on the weekends where the students were and was meeting the teachers at nightclubs on weeknights. I could write a book on this topic of being a repairman in those days. But what I want to say is "Plastics.” .......Remember that line from The Graduate? Imagine if at that moment you had invested in plastics, yep, you'd be rich. Move ahead several years from that movie and another repairman friend of mine says, "I'm going to take a class at TVI on repairing Pac’s, you want to go with me?" Drum roll please...bbbbbbrrrrrbbbbrrrrrbbbbbrrrrrbbbbbrrrrrr. And I quote, "Naw, fuck man, these things (typewriters) will be around forever.”
There you have it, it's official, I may in fact be the stupidest person alive. Hey, if you can't laugh at yourself and be the brunt of a joke from time to time, get the fuck outta here.

Friday, February 6, 2009

jobs we have now

Working as a project manager for a major landscape company in the Washington, DC area has it's drawbacks. Vance occasionally feels the pressure and resorts to his early training as a landscaping "cheetah." While sporting his Miami Vice "Don Johnson" shoes, he simply cannot be stopped. Coiled and ready to spring at any moment, no job is too large or too small.
"I've witnessed this animal in his own enviroment and I must confess, I was scared. Jim...get the net."
-Marlin Perkins

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Don't take any guff off these swine

We're trying to increase our readership by posting images that are sure to draw right-wing nut-jobs and Homeland Security.

[The title of this post is a quote from our quasi-hero, Hunter S. Thompson, Doctor of Journalism]

Moonpie Chronicles are brought to you today by the letters "F" and "U" and the number 2

We're on alert today. It's been reported that Jim Jones is alive and on the loose in Albuquerque. Here's the official watch-list on the wall at Moonpie World Headquarters.Any of these should be reported to us immediately so that we can inform our millions of listener... Viewer.... Umm. Readers. Hey,we got your back, Jack!

Monday, February 2, 2009

What we've done for work.

Vance had a brief career as an actor in the short-lived series, "Lonesome Crow", the tale of a retired Texas ranger and his half-wit sidekick. Together the tame the wild west and form a little town that is now call Los Lunies. The show fell apart when Robert Duvall stormed off the set, shouting, "There ain't room for TWO crusty old coots in this town!"

Where we were before we were here.

So, Buster. You were borned, den, in CanaDA?
~Cheech and Chong from the Buster the Body Crab sketch.

Like Buster the Body Crab, I, Rick, was also borned in Canada. More specifically,Midland, Ontario, Canada, a community on the route of the 2010 Winter Olympics Torch Relay. I only lived there until I was 5, though I spent every summer there until I was 13.

Despite having lived in these Estados Unidos since 1963, and having served 6 years in the U.S. Army, I'm still a citizen of Canada, The True North Strong and Free. So Tuff Darts, Buddy!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Moonpie One: Pages 11 & 12

Here we see a totally candid photo snapped of me by Vance. I was walking up to the school (This shot is looking east from Montgomery across Juan Tabo.) I was reading a letter I'd just received from my friend Dave Miletello (see previous entry.)

Fashion Note: It's hard to see in this scan, but I'm wearing a shirt style that was also popular in the day. Some called it a Peasant Shirt, but this was a variant style. It was loose-fitting, with a keyhole collar that had embroidered trim around it. The sleeves, though I had them rolled up here, were very loose. I think it was designed for smoking hookahs or something. Maybe for people who were too stoned to mess with buttons and shit. Also, my mom made this one.

Around the photo, Vance has drawn radiating lines and the legend "The Man With The Fool Inside." Below it is the text:
"Rick is more fool than most. He is going in the army on June 22nd and is along for the ride.He is also co-author of this book and comic artiste extrordinaire."
To which I added "And did some of the photographs.
On the right hand page is a photo of me and Martin. I should note that anytime prior to about age 28 that I tried to look tough in a picture, I ended up looking like a total dorkus.

The text on this page reads:
Martin and Rick here trying to look like two rugged brutes. Good try. Actually, the old lady several pages back, just happened to have a camera in her hands when Rick and Martin pushed her into a gutter. The old lady took this picture when she slammed violently onto the pavement.