The Outline of my Life

1958
1959
1960
1961
1962
1963
1964
1965
1966
1967
1968
1969
1970
1971
1972
1973
1974

1975
1976
1977
1978
1979
1980
1981
1982
1983
1984
1985
1986
1987
1988
1989
1990
1991

1992
1993
1994
1995
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004

 

1977

18 years old.

Duff's days.

Linda McDirty appears. Linda was the wildest girl I'd ever met. She was really into sex, and even though she was Patrick's girlfriend, she tried and eventually succeeded in seducing me. She was short, brunette, with long straight hair and high Indian cheekbones and a big white smile and dark skin.

Jill Elkins was a girl I really liked. I was finally starting to have a sex life.

We moved to the apartment next door, which was slightly nicer, after Laclede Gas shut off the gas.

The KC Funk Festival was the highlight of our summer. We were all certified Maggot Brains by this time, buying every Parliament/Funkadelic album we could get our hands on and playing them with evangelistic fervor for every one who came to party with us. Me, Linda, Patrick and some others all went to Kansas City to see what was probably the greatest Funk Show of my life. Rose Royce (Carwash) Rufus with Chaka Khan, Bootsy's Rubber Band, The Brothers Johnson, The Isley Brothers and to top it all off, Parliament/Funkadelic tore the roof off the sucker and brought down the Mothership from a gigantic pimp hat. I remember George Clinton had to be dragged offstage by force as a huge thunderstorm put on a cosmic light show.

Mary Gail Frane decided that I would make a good boyfriend for her around this time, though we never had sex.

I eventually got sick, lost my job, and started to starve to death. I was really terribly sick, and I remember begging my roommates to take me to the hospital, but they just laughed at me and went on partying. I laid up on my foam rubber mat in the attic and every day I came down to try to scrounge up something to eat. There was never anything to eat. Carol Udell, David and Patrick's mother, lived across the alley and she was good for a baloney sandwich every now and then, but basically I was on my own. My mom had moved with Grace and Larry Jenkerson again and my dad was in CA. When Carol Udell went on vacation I had absolutely no one to turn to and I laid in bed for three days, wondering what to do. So this is what it's like. This is what it feels like to starve to death. I freaked out so badly after looking at these weird bones in the attic (That's how they'll find me! Just dry bones!) that I finally got the strength to crawl out of bed and beg someone to feed me.

The rest of the year is pretty obviously something of a blur, but eventually I ended up moving in with Dominic Shaeffer on Russell for a month or so. This is where I lost almost all of my worldly goods when I had to leave because neither one of us had been paying any rent. I still had no job, and was getting pretty desperate for something.

I had no choice: No one wanted anything to do with me, my glasses were totally broken, I had no job, nothing, and finally no place at all to live. I called my girlfriend Mary Gail Frane and asked her to drop me off with my well-worn foam rubber mat and a bag full of notebooks down at Ead's Bridge. I was homeless, back before it was called homeless. Downtown I could eat out of the dumpsters at Union market and comb the downtown restaurants for some dish washing job or something.

Living under Ead's Bridge was actually pretty pleasant. It was deserted underneath there where the train tracks used to run, and I set up house under the first pylon out from the Missouri side. I felt pretty safe up there, and it was pretty hygienic (for me, anyway) to simply use the river as my toilet. Plus it was a beautiful view, and good breezes at all times. The one thunderstorm I was in was pretty scary, though, and I ran back to the Missouri side to hide out in one of the rubble-filled rooms that used to lead to the old train station there. That night, using a flashlight, I found all of these spooky scrawled inscriptions all over the wall about "evil spirts". It made my hair stand up on end, reading these crazed messages about "spirts" in a thunderstorm in the middle of the night.

Finally I got a job washing dishes at Miss Hullings and my friend George graciously allowed me to rent out the front third of the basement of his two-family flat from him. The family who rented the first floor couldn't believe they had a crazy hippie kid living in their basement, separated from their washer and dryer by a sheet suspended from a clothesline. I was on my way back onto my feet.

 

 

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