Stopped by the Skipper last night. They say it’s an Irish bar but there is no indication of Irish-ness in the decor, the drinks, the clientele, or anything. I had some strong beers and some conversation. I usually only pop in there for a drink or two at most and yesterday was no different. The people there are the fast-disappearing working class whites that used to be the majority in this community. Now they’re older. The place is not so bad. It seems like there used to be a lot more dives 18 years ago, especially in the Valley were I started my drinking career at any number of sleazy establishments (and actually got myself 86ed out of two of them–permanently. Not that I’m proud of that, but alcoholism hit me hard at a tender age. I didn’t yet know the truth: that you have to take it or leave it, that it’s an extremely addictive drug, that it always takes more than it gives. Things that I know now from experience, even as I still imbibe the poison from time to time–warily.)

Anyway…The Skipper. Not much more to say about it other than you wonder where all these people are outside of these walls. These Verdugo City dregs. It’s like when I lived in Portland, Oregon. I don’t know what it’s like now but the town used to have the most amazing strip clubs. I could have been seeing this through a craft beer haze at the time, but these places had the most beautiful strippers I’ve ever seen. Pale-skinned angels. And on the streets you didn’t see any indication of their existence. They were part of some underworld that never saw the light of day. And for all of Portland’s charms it is not a place known for its beautiful citizens, neither male or female, so where did these sexy snow-white vixens come from? Is Portland the Los Angeles of the pacific northwest–the “big city” where the beautiful girls from places like Boise end up?

The Skipper is this strange underworld: from where did these toothless drunken maniacs come, and to where do they go? The place is downright Lynchian, I tell you.

After my drinks I paid, I got in the car, I drove back up to the cabin far up in the foothills, back to my Unabomber-style solitude. The wind beat on the eaves of the house. I looked outside for the cat that’s been coming around. The moon was a thin sliver over the San Gabriels. Rain tomorrow.