Fireworks at the Flop House (part 1)
“Oh Yoshimi, they don't believe me
but you won't let those robots eat me
Yoshimi, they don't believe me
but you won't let those robots defeat me”
Yoshimi battles the pink robots part 1
The Flaming Lips
- Hey, what are you up to tonight? -Patrick called.
- I don’t know, I really don’t have any plans, I’m smoking joints at my place and I don’t have anything in mind. If you want to come you are very welcome man. -I replied.
- Listen, I’m planning to go to Dolan’s, it is Thursday right, so it’d probably be lots of fun, lots of honeys. The ‘Boys Next Door’ are playing.
- Man, let me give you a call later, I’m still kind of stoned, I need to have some munchies, wake up, and then I’ll now. I’ll give you a call later.
- Ok, talk to you later –said Patrick.
Fuck, the same routine, same dirty sofa, smoking joints, it feels like I really never left Fredericton. I came back from Toronto yesterday. I spent 15 days in a summer program. Toronto was a parenthesis in my life: lots of studying, meeting people who only talk about power and money and deep inside are so fucking insecure, relaxing times, a beer before going to sleep, going to fancy restaurants, getting some “ceviche” with the crowd from the program, actually a couple of interesting conversations too with some nice people, particularly with a guy from Sri Lanka whose personal story seemed to me very amazing.
Now back at the flop house, on the same sofa, smoking a joint from my pipe from “montañitas”. Wow, a really weird feeling, was I really in Toronto? I really feel like I never left this house or that Toronto was like an interruption of a continuum. I’ve been living at this place for a couple of months already. Great times, definitely.
I found this place through a post I read on the University website. It said something like “looking someone to sublet a room at 696 Kings College”. The place was very close to the university and I wanted to move because my place was really expensive for the summer and I couldn’t afford it with my student budget. So I went to see this place and it gave me good vibes from the start.
I opened the door and realized that I didn’t need to take off my shoes. The place was really huge, kind of a mess, tobacco all over the table, paper, a big bong, graffiti, and posters. Later I realized that those posters were covering holes in the walls that people made when they were drunk. The guy who I talked to was Adam. He was using a blanket to cover his body and looked peaked. He seemed like a weird character, a skinny guy with exaggerated laughs and gestures. He introduced me to Harper, the guy who was subletting the room. We talked for a bit and the price was ok.
Both Adam and Harper were kind of embarrassed about the mess at their place and tried to apologize for that. I really did not care. I told them about me, where I was from, what I was doing in Canada and that I was ok with the lifestyle that I could imagine people at this house had. Coincidently, Harper told me that he was going to Perú for the summer, we talked about the places to go, I made him a list of the places he had to visit. He was all excited about his trip. I told him I was going to think about subletting his place and then call him back.
I went back to my office and felt that it was the place for me. I don’t know, it was just the fact that there were so many things at the house that gave me the impression that the people living there wanted to say something, to express themselves, probably about something different to what I was used to, I mean, I didn’t know about the bands they had posted on the walls or some of the things they wrote, but the fact that they had something to say meant a lot to me and gave me a good vibe. So I decided to sublet the place. I called them and said I was going to move in a couple of days.
The first days at this new place I learnt that they called it the “flop house”. There were always people inside, sitting around the living room, having joints and drinking booze. The doors were always open and nobody had a key to the house. I met so many people that I was not sure who lived at the flop house and who did not. I met all kind of characters, in general, very nice and interesting people. So I felt very relaxed from the beginning, which is not usual for me: I don’t like sharing.
It took me some time to realize that they were all friends from way back and that most of them were from the same town in Nova Scotia: Springhill. They were very close and did not go out much with other people or to the bars downtown. It took some time and effort for them to really open themselves. Some people were more open to me than others and I think at the beginning some even felt kind of threatened.
After some time, though, I realized that some of the guys who didn’t show too much interest in being friends with me at beginning were in fact really curious and didn’t know how to act. Deep inside they were like children when meeting new friends. But this is not new: it is always like that. At the end I met everyone and we were partying every day.
So yeah, great times at the flop house, repetition all the time, joy and pleasure because of that repetition, the same things all the time. My impression is that we were happy because everything was fixed. The same crowd, talks about the same writers, pipes and drugs, same TV shows, same music, and off course, the same house. When I spend a lot of time being stoned, I can really appreciate things, I feel very happy about myself and my life, and I enjoy very much talking to people. I’m in a state of wonder all the time. That was precisely one of the words we loved to use at the flop house “wonder”.
Anyway, I don’t get really stoned now. Fucking tolerance. I like it when you are so stoned and you remember and forget things all the time. So sometimes you know you have a beer in the fridge, sometimes you don’t and you think that was the last one, but then you go to the kitchen and you find a beer in the fridge. Nothing is better than that. If you don’t have one, you might forget later or go out to buy one. It is not a big deal.
I was listening to “Novalima” before the guys come. They were coming later to watch “Trailer Park Boys”, as always. After some time, Brian, Corey and Tim came inside. There were always big entrances at the flop house, this time, though, they just shouted “hello” when they were coming in.
I think Brian did not like me because he thought I wanted to fuck his ex-girlfriend, but I was really not interested in her, it was only that we got along very well. They sat and I changed the channel. We waited for “Trailer Park Boys” to begin, it was a new season. This show is so fucking funny.
- Guys, wanna do some blades –said Corey.
- Fuck yeah -Brian replied.
We all went to the kitchen to do some blades. I was so stoned. I always wondered why we never had blades in Lima. It is probably because of the type of kitchen we have, yeah, not many people have electric kitchens in Lima. Corey took some pot out of his bag and started to make very tiny compressed balls of weed. The knives were already in the kitchen, they were always there. I think we only used the kitchen for doing blades.
Corey turned on the stove and the knives started to heat. Then he gave me the first knife. I had already lived at this place for a couple of months but I was still the new and foreign guy, so they always started with me. People were very quiet, we were probably all very stoned already. Corey worked outside the city in the camp and he was on mushrooms or pot most of the time. He was also a dealer and most of us got our weed from him.
I took the knife and touched the ball of weed with it and then inhaled all the smoke that came out of the it, it was so strong, it was awesome. I passed the knife to Corey, he did the same thing and then passed the knife to Brian. Brian put the knife in the heat again and then into another ball of pot.
Brian was from St. John’s, Newfoundland. He was a really funny guy, all the time making jokes, with a good attitude. He played in a band, he was the lead singer. Some other people who hung out at the flop house played in the same band. Brian was a character. He went through cycles, sometimes he was very quiet and sometimes very excited. He didn’t talk for a while and then he started singing and shouting very loud.
Brian passed the knife to Tim. Tim was talking about Jung, he was studying Psychology. We got along great and we had conversations very often. He was living at the flop house with his girlfriend, Terri. At this point I knew we were only four people living at the flop house, Tim, Terri, Adam and me.
Adam and I were interested in tarot cards. So we used to talk a lot about our cards. Most of the people who hung out at the flop house were around 25 years old, but Adam was younger, I think he was probably 20. He was a very dirty guy, he had two guinea pigs in his room and he hardly ever showered or did laundry, he was gross and everybody made fun of that, there were a couple of drawings on the wall about him being very dirty. But Adam had something particular, I don’t know exactly how to describe it but it was something that I could relate to. It seemed like sadness, a permanent pain and having to pretend not to have it sometimes.