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From Lilac To Beech To Birchwood And Back!

2002-06-17 - 11:29 p.m.

****WARNING: THIS ENTRY IS LONGER THAN THE LAST ONE I WARNED ABOUT. SO CHECK YOUR A.D.D. READING SPANS AT THE DOOR. TO RECAP: IT'S A LONG ONE.****

Ok. I'm back. These entries seem to be getting further and further apart. But I'm still here, and not broken down on the Road of Broken Hopes and Journals (Population: Tim & Brad). Of course, I would have had this entry done this morning if 1.) Diaryland hadn't gotten all wonky this morning and 2.) If I didn't have to spend an (ultimately unsuccessful) hour trying to fix Real Jukebox after it went all wonky. All in all, it's been a pretty wonky day, and I didn't even go to CVS at all today.

So where were we? Ah yes. I recall. We were at the point where all my friends thought that I was crazier than a bed bug and higher than a really high kite after my last entry. Even Maura (T.-K., not Tierney) and Andrea thought I wrote my last entry from behind the compacter at the FRM loading dock. All I can say is that I was tired and punchy from all the Six Flaggeries that had been going on, I was still distraught over losing my orange shirt (still am), and I was cranky because the milkman keeps bringing cheese. So I apologize to those that thought I was either spacey, coked up, weird, or, as one good chum informed me "not funny enough". Jeeze, give a man bread and he'll eat for a day, give him a King Prawn and he'll be unsatisfied for life. Sigh.

So let's take a trip back to Thursday Night shall we? Ok. So while my initial hopes were that Megan would put me into the type of diabetic shock that the late Kate Bedford did when she bid adieu for the Garden State, the minor fact that both Megan and I came down with Ebola got in the way of that plan. Ok, ok. Neither of us got Ebola, and actually, Megan was fine. But I was sick to my stomach. Which definitely got in our way of living it up Newington style. But we still did represent with the Lik-M-Aid Fun Dip packs I bought at Sweet Factory (even if 2 of the flavors were Green Apple and Grape - Cherry made up for it. Whenever I have Lik-M-Aid I'm forced to recall when Keith convinced me to snort some Grape Lik-M-Aid on the stoop outside of Lachance's in 6th Grade. I think that is one of the reasons I have such a strong aversion to the flavor grape -that and I think it attracts bees- as some of that grapey powder from 1990 is probably still floating around the vacant used car lot that is my brain. And they say pot is a gateway drug! ["See!" - Aunt Linda]) But then I tried to be a hero by doing something new in honor of the it being the End of the Broadhurst Era. In this case it was going to Sakkio. A place I have avoided since I started working at Wiggity-Wallakers 9 years ago. The only other place I have so actively avoided in the mall is The Bombay Company (due mostly because I think it is stupid). Well, the Sakkio plan was a disaster from the get-go. Not only was my stomach actively petitioning it, but thanks to Megan just minutes before arm-chairingly diagnosing what she thinks to be my full-blown anxiety disorder, I freaked out over going to Sakkio and ordering myself. So she went for me. And I got so sick I couldn't eat it. So I put it in the fridge and saved it for later. But she did get the copy of Blood On The Tracks I promised I'd burn her, I finished Tangerine in time, plus she got a CD Mix from me too (appropriately titled "Goodbye Granite . . .Hello Cheese!", in honor of her big move to the inbred badger fields of Wisconsin). And now, only four days later, there's a hole in my heart in the shape of Megan Broadhurst.

~Lik-M-Aid: Bridging the Gap from Candy Cigarettes to Heroin since 1965!~

So Friday morning I woke up with a spittle of drool caked to my cheek/pillow like I was a long-lost Ratliffe. It was *that* gross. But what can I say? I'M pretty damn gross. So this is how my Friday morning/afternoon was spent: Eating some cereal. Downloading Music. Eating more cereal. Watching my Sifl and Olly tapes. Buying Cereal at the Irving. Watching more Sifl and Olly. Watching Stella (the short film of skits that various State members did between The State and Wet Hot American Summer. This shit is genius. Don't believe me? http://www.statemedia.net/stella.php "Audition", "Cousins", and "Big Chill" are highlights. They are filthy but fucking hilarious. I love them. I would marry them if I wasn't already married to a carrot. ["He admitted it! He married a carrot! I can't believe I used to go out with him!"]). And then watching Sifl and Olly again. I'm going to become Mormon so I can marry Sifl and Olly too. Oh man, but then I'd have to give up caffeine. Hmmm, I'll have to think this one over.

Sifl: "Elevator Action and the Onion. . ."

Olly: "The Righteous One!"

So then Jimbo strolls up to 1018 Lilac later in the day (which is when I inundate him with the superosity that is Stella) and though he claims it is "very dirty" and "very fucked-up" he also sings its praises as "funny shit". So that is good. So all that's left is for Monique to describe it as "mediocre", Tim to describe it as "mmm, ok.", my mother to describe it as "funky", and Nanny to describe it as, of course, "foolish". So we realize we have a couple of options for what to do on Friday night. Ben had talked to Jeff earlier in the evening and said that we could go to downtown Porstmouth if we wanted and meet Jeff. {While all the people reading this right now are screaming at their screens "No Zach, No! Don't take Door #1! Don't forget about what happened on both Spring Fling and the Gaslight - the last two social engagements with Jeff!". But, we decided it was a.) too crappy out to have fun in Portsmouth, b.) too expensive and c.) too far. Our other option was haunting the halls (or in this case, small crooked hall singular) of Route 4 - ol' 68A Piscataqua Rd itself. Danielle had mentioned they were having a party, but I had told her that we'd probably be at Bike Weekend in the good ol LA of CONIA - weather permitting. And the weather permitted that Rt. 4 is the option that we picked. {Don't exhale yet.} So, after Jimbo and Ben voted on not going over until the "fashionably late" Bates-ian time of 11 o'clock, and after Megan's diagnosis started to rear its ugly anxious head, we finally left to go over to the House that Spite Built. And Oh What A House It Is, or should I say Turned Into! New Paved Driveway, White Concrete Walkways, Freshly Planted Bushes That Act As A Futile Sound Barrier For Those Mack Truck Air Brakes At 3 AM! Ahhh, but Rt. 4 was still Rt. 4. Marshall's faded white spray paint from he and Todd's ill-fated attempt to make their mark on Rt. 4 could still be seen. Jeff's patched-up hole in the ceiling from his "Who can punch the ceiling hardest without putting a hole in it?" game still looked down on the denizens of the living room. The window pane that Paul E. Burton {the "E." stands for "Evil"} was "on his way over" to fix in 2000 still sadly waiting there with no new pane. But more was different than the same. While random stickers on the ceiling and walls that I had affixed still remained, in place of my ever-present "Foote for Sheriff" (given to me by the illustrious Lorien Liptack) was a girlier than girly framed set of Ansel Adams prints, and worst of all?! Curtains on my closet! Oh, the humanity. At least the had the Beirut table placed more strategically in the kitchen than we did. Even though I don't think I ever got over being a stranger in my own house I still had a good time. I don't think it bothered Ben as much. What people may forget is that not only did I live there for 3 long years, but I moved there in August '98, directly from last steps out of 145 Holman. I lived there longer than any of the small amounts of time I'd spend at South Down Bores. A lot of shit went down at that brown house on Rt. 4. And it seems like half the people I know slept in it or claimed residency in it at one time or another. I had flour poured over my head at Rt. 4. Fred and I covered Marshall in Kool-Aid and marshmallows while he tried to shower at Rt. 4. We locked Marshall out naked at Rt. 4. Fred's grandmother's friend saw Coty naked at Rt. 4. {There was a lot of nudity at Rt. 4} I swore off any of kind of drugs at Rt. 4. ["Doubtful." - Aunt Linda] I didn't do dishes for Nate Dowd at Rt. 4. I watched Coty hate Priya's cyclops car from afar at Rt. 4. I watched D-Rock eat 4 bags of Jax at one sitting at Rt. 4. Carley and I measured our heights on the pantry door at Rt. 4. I saw Fred puke on his walls after downing one of Coty's professionally made "side-cars" at our Christmas Cocktail at Rt. 4. I don't make a habit of going back to old haunts no matter how much I may want to. But this time I changed my mind. Hmmmmmmmm . . . Well - We had fun. We did. Jimbo, Ben and I were surprisingly on our best behavior. No one got in any fights. We learned how to play "Fuck The Dealer" (a cross between Eights and High/Low) and "Moose" (a cross between Up and Down the River and Quarters). Ben won friends for admitting his love of the Yankees and lost just as many for admitting he was an engineer. We were even good at remembering everybody's names! And Ben and I reclaimed House Champion Status in Beirut ["Also Doubtful, as *I* am house champion of ALL things house champion-able." - Coty]. And while a keg of Red Hook IPA is both a rarity and a treat, I don't recommend playing a few games of Beirut with it. I swear - it's still just sittin' in my stomach, laughin' at me! The party started to devolve past 1:30 as people started to get pretty drunk. The reddest of all the flags is when all the hippies downstairs brought one of the couches outside and lit it on fire. Not wanting to be around when the fire department and/or Paul E. Burton showed up the three of us thanked Danielle and promptly skee, and then daddled. Jimbo and I then watched Ben lose miserably as he drunkenly tried to play NHL 2002.

~Couch Fires: Ending College Parties on a Sour Note since 1965!~

Saturday morning saw Ben dragging Jimbo and I "down the street" to try this breakfast place he had heard of. Here's some friendly advice. If Ben Walden ever offers to take you "down the street" for ANYTHING - don't do it (and while you're at it, you might as well just RUN, and TELL someone you TRUST). We might have well just had breakfast at Barnacle Billy's. Since he drove us so far into MAINE that I could almost see Winslow ["Yo yo yo, old skool shout-out dawwwg! That Winslow shit is tight yo! Ok. Back to the lab. Please don't tell people how I live." - Fred] Breakfast (or should I call it lunch, since Fogerty's doesn't SERVE breakfast) was ok. Of course Ben had to order a Turkey Rueben because he had "never had one, and what a perfect opportunity to try one". That is so Ben. Jimbo and I took 3 points away from his total score for the Turkey Rueben. We also a saw a patio chair skid down the sidewalk due to the strong wind and rain while we were in Maine. It was EXTREMELY FUNNY at the time, and I cried and laughed and cried some more and even said at the time "That is *so* going in the journal". But it's pretty much one of those "had to be there" moments. Besides, "we also saw a patio chair skid down the sidewalk due to the strong wind and rain" kind of sums it up anyway. We returned to 1018 Lilac where Ben kept loudly asking if Jimbo and I had played his hockey game the night before and lost on purpose to screw up his season record. We insisted we didn't, that it was his drunk ass that did it. He didn't believe it. So Jimbo left for Concord and said he'd meet us in LA at KP's BBBQ(*). Ben, who had spent the last 8 months ranting how he wouldn't go to LA for any part of Bike Week until frogs could do fractions, decided to relent and go anyway, as the next day was Father's Day and he was going to have to go home the next day anyway. (Personally, I think it was because frog's really did learn fractions). Anyway, Ben and I eventually met Tim and Liz at the presently under construction Birchwood Way and then went over to Kristen's toot sweet for all the festivities (but not before a noxious visit to IGAFarmFareButsons).

And as any red, white and blue-blooded American knows, it's just not an entrance into the "Beech Street House That WetBack Delight Built" unless it's an entrance that takes place smack dab in the middle of a boisterous session of Catchphrase! Well, needless to say, Jambone Jimmy was more than happy to tag out and have me sub for him. Which I did. It was here that I was soon Catchphrasing with the best of 'em. Shannon (Not Prescott, but Browher), KP's boyfriend Mike's friends Bo, Mush (sp.?), and Brian, Roy, and Kristen, Marianne, and Kelly (all Prescotts Three). How sad was I that that little spitfire Laura "Jeezum Crow!" Lemein was a no-show? Not very. The rest of the day involved us eating a lot (as Mike was on the grill), drinking, eating, playing cards, eating, and drinking some more. Brooke showed up after work and at some point, someone broke out Cranium. Those who weren't playing Cranium played horse shoes out back. The Cranium team of Shannon, Brooke, Kristen's mom and I whipped the collective asses of the Jimbo/Liz/Roy Cranium team. Even though I couldn't draw an adequate fern in order to show up Brooke and Jimbo's likewise pathetic ferns. (Keep that in mind fair reader, it comes up again later). Man, now I know how Dickens felt when he wrote in his online journal. My fingers are killing me. At some point in the evening, Tim, Liz, Ben and I left to go eat more food at Tim's, go to IGAFarmFareButson's again(!) and go back to KP's. Very strange now that I look back on it. Shannon and I (in our respective Line Drive Lucy and Line Drive Larry guises) ruled the school for the first few rounds of Beirut, thanks to the divine power of Zostoperos Japonica, until being taken down by Jimbo and Shawn Prescott. No, that's not a typo, though I wish it was. Those on the list for Beirut played flip cup in the meantime. Somewhere around this time Brooke's sister Lesley showed up and there was all this confusion about how you pronounce Lesley's name in comparison to Leslie Gilman's (who was also there earlier) and it turned into far bigger a controversy than it should have been. That's why my dad goes by Les - so as not to cause problems during garage Beirut games. Shannon (Not Browher, but Prescott) showed up around here too. Mike, Brooke's boyfriend, also snuck in around this time too, but then he threw down a smoke bomb and disappeared in the ensuing chaos. As time passed by, things got eye wateringly smoky (thanks to Marty's wonky tarp ventilation system), I was wearing Kristen's way too small and none too flattering high school volleyball jacket. Aren't I a cut-up? Oh well, at least it wasn't as bad as Liz wearing Marianne's pee-stained snow pants. Somewhere even later, when it became sacreligiously evident to us that we wouldn't be going to the Weirs after all, Kim and Hannah showed up. (For the record, as some have been getting confused, this was Laconia Hannah [Smith] who came over, not to be confused with Portsmouth Hannah [Eldridge] whose Pepe the King Prawn inspired birthday was a few days ago. Everyone clear? Ok. Let's continue.) Hmmmmm, at this point, I remember Kim and Hannah kicking me in the shins and feet a lot. Especially Kim. Kim and I have always had a rocky relationship, for reasons that won't be delved into here (as they will only serve to re-open old boombalatty-esque wounds) and somehow she always manages to get me to apologize to her for something I did YEARS ago (which also happens to be a story that Marshall would tell every damn girl we would ever meet). And the night pretty much went on like that for a while. With Shannon hopping on the scooter and riding around the table and the street for unhealthy amounts of time, while we tried to convince Brooke not to drive for even MORE unhealthy amounts of time. Somehow, in all the mish-mash of "who's driving? / who's getting a ride? / who's walking?", Liz, Ben, Tim, and I embarked on our walk from Beech Street to Birchwood Way. I can think of many ways to get from Beech Street to Birchwood Way. And if you dear reader are familiar at all with the geographical byways and highways of Laconia than I am sure you can as well. The way we took is not an option I would have come up with even with the benefit of a 1,000 monkeys on a 1,000 typewriters aiding me.

Still here? Still with me? It's been a long haul I know. But we're almost there. Perhaps you should pause to go pee. Or convince your boss you are doing real work. Or do some laundry. Or serve Billy Morrissette with divorce papers. Anyway. We can start to see the light from here. So buckle up, wipe your furrowed Winslownian brow and here we go . . .

So things went relatively smoothly as we headed towards to Walter's Market. I even found myself a stylish walking stick. As we headed towards to the Citizen building Ben, Tim, and I argued about pointless, arguable stuff while Liz would throw in the occasional "eh?", "hosers!", and "mmmm, bacon". It was at the "no trucks allowed" street that connects Water Street Cafe to Fenton and Whipple Aves that KP and Mike happened upon us in their little white "here we are to save your sorry souls"-mobile. I hopped right in. Ben and Tim (and Liz by extension) refused the ride but said I could go on without them and meet them back at Tim's. Sigh. I thanked KP and Mike and got out of the car, picked my walking stick from where I threw it and joined back the joyous team known as the Midnight Laconia Skulkers (except it was more like 2:30 in the morning, not midnight) This is when things veered wildly off the path (literally) that I had envisioned. Anyone worth his Sachem salt would tell you that our next direction woul be down Gale Ave, a right onto Holman, and then straight down to Tim's on Birchwood. Ahhhh, but that would be a SANE man who told you that. Why go the SANE & LOGICAL way when you can go the super happy fun fun adventure way of THROUGH THE PLEASANT STREET SCHOOL WOODS?!?!? Yup. So, onward we went. Past the former domiciles to the Dubois' and Farmers' and found ourselves at ol' PSS, recently refurbished home of the Panthers. And then things just begin going wrong wrong wrong. We see that there has been a new road (and houses) built about 100 yards into the woods where (one of the many) paths to Tim's house is. So Ben and Liz decide that the best plan is to just forage through to the development while Tim and I decide the best plan is to double back to Pleasant Street and walk down to the entrance of what we would find out is Audrey Lane and walk down to the newly paved end of it. Unfortunately, wires were crossed (I'm not sure how, as we were all standing next to each other) and we thought Ben and Liz were following us and they thought we were following them. The next thing you know, I'm doing the Keith/Ben patented "whistle/respond" technique to try to find Ben and Tim is calling Ben's cell from his own to try to locate them in the woods. Soon, (like not even 5 minutes later) we find them, and all was well. But in that 5 or so minutes Tim did manage to pretty much seal the deal in convincing me to go to California with him and Ben. For about 3 minutes. We walk off of Audrey Lane and descend down into the woods, having no idea where the path starts back up again after the construction. We hit a small bit of clearing and Ben decides to go left. My sense of direction (which in the Bond Beach woods and the Pleasant Street School woods is surprisingly uncanny) knew he was going the wrong way. I could tell that it led back towards to my old house. Tim insisted that if we took a RIGHT (which was the correct way) that it would lead to my old house. This didn't make sense for many reasons, the least of which was that my house was to the LEFT of Pleasant Street School. So finally, as Ben's voice began to trail off on the right path, we called for him to come back from his recon mission and we would try going right. So Tim leads the way (even though he insists it's the wrong way). It is very muddy and slippery and I almost lose my shoes to the mud several times. Don't think Goonies/Romancing the Stone mud fun either, I'm talking Bog of Eternal Stench from Labyrinth here. Eventually we come upon a river with a small rock bridge on it. And as any Pleasant Street School Panther knows, this is the crossroads that, if coming from the school, LEFT goes to Holman Street and Ashwood Circle, RIGHT goes to Havenwood Drive, and STRAIGHT would lead to more water and then Birchwood Way. Tim insisted that if we went straight we would end up BACK at Pleasant Street School. I insisted this was an impossibility (and to Ben's credit, so did he) and I just said, "Follow me if you want, I know this is the right way". I will give Tim the benefit of the doubt that swamp gasses had started to seep into his brain at this point. As I brushed past some menacing ferns I strode on, walking stick as my guide for low hanging branches, confident that we would soon be free of this dark, smelly, muddy prison. I figured it was good that I was in the lead anyway, as my bright yellow vest would help to act as a beacon to the others. Soon, I came upon the "more water". Makeshift bridges were always made here by neighborhood kids over the years. Rain and frequent use would wash them away over time, but eventually, they'd always be rebuilt in some form. Remind me to fill out a negative comment card for the neighborhood kids that took our place. There was no bridge over this 6 foot wide river kwai. So when the other three caught up to me we tried to figure out a plan of attack. What follows is what happend the best I can describe it. Tim jumped first. His feet landed periously near the water and got even muddier than they must have already been. He was using his cell phone light, as was Ben using his, so we could see as much of the river as possible while trying to cross/jump it. The next thing I know, Ben tries to just make a leap for it. I hear a splash, a thud, and then a groan. Ben has made it over the river . . .mostly. And by mostly, I mean his top half. And he seems to be rolling around on what dry land he IS on in a half-conscious, groaning stupor. Tim yelps to me to grab his hand and he'll help me across. The next part is kind of a blur. I remember grabbing Tim's hand and jumping/him pulling me across. But before I even landed, Liz started yelling about something in the water, Tim shifted his weight (possibly in response to Liz's yelling, possibly just to be, ahem - "funny") and he THROWS me with all his strength (joined with the force of me coming down from the river jump) into a huge overgrown thicket of malacious fronds. I think I lose consciousness here for a second. Soon, Tim himself is downed when he goes to turn back on to the path towards home, and tripping over a huge log, lets out this primal animal cry and falls like a redwood to the soft, muddy ground. Liz, successfully achieveing what the three of us couldn't, jumps over the river and continues on the path. Ben fishes his phone out of the water and eventually, after brushing all of the frond fuzzies off of me I got up to join them, which is when Tim Curtis, attempting to join the rest of us in walking on two feet again, claims repeatedly "A Sasquatch grabbed me and pulled me down! Right down to the ground! I swear!" We finally broke free, Ben dunked on Kim White's hoop, and Liz, Tim and I went into Tim's while Ben continued on to Shore Drive to his house, hoping to meet up with Jimbo, who unbeknownst to us was sleeping soundly at the Culkins at this point. We were muddy. We were wet. We were tired. We went to bed.

[That scholarship to RISD is so close I can taste it!]

Gasp! We're almost there! Sunday morning we were treated to Bob Curtis pancakes (a rarer rarity than Red Hook kegs!) and bacon. After pulling out every card I had left in my sleeve so not to get stuck with Ben and Dick Walden on Father's Day while they split wood (awwww!) I finally was willing to humiliate myself enough that when Tim said he and Liz would drop me off in Dover on the way back to Boston if I ate cat food I said I'd do it. It wasn't until I had my hand in the cat food bag with the Friskies in my hand that Tim let me off the hook and informed me that he was just testing to see if I was actually that gross. And as I believe I pointed out (WHAT SEEMS LIKE DAYS AGO) near the BEGINNING of this ENTRY, I am indeed "pretty damn gross". They dropped me off and I spent the majority of the day watching the filthy, glitzy and sordidly fascinating 3 hour E! True Hollywood Story: Studio 54. Which I had already seen. THREE TIMES.

And then I worked tonight (With Andrea! A Night Shift with Andrea! Hell has truly frozen over!) and started a new season of Road Rules. I like that Kendall girl. Gah! She has blond hair! What's happening to me! First Keri, now Kendall! Where's Ellen, Janet, and Lori when I need them?! Ah well . . .Can you believe it? We're all done. Phew. I'm not even going to say what time it is as I finish this. Oh well, off to slumberland. Or as I call it, crazy place where I have fucked up dreams involving celebrities and planets I've never been to.

It's been real,

James Dixon

* - The extra "B" in "BBBQ" stands for BYOBB(**)

** - The extra "B" in "BYOBB" is a typo.

ps - This is McLaughlin's new 1966 Mustang that he is restoring out in 29 Palms, CA. Try as I might I just could not successfully work it into the above entry. Oh well. But now McLaughlin can sleep tighter knowing that his Mustang has been ogled by the electronic masses.

[A STEP UP FROM THE GO-CART]

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