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Rollins In My Eye

Issue Date: Friday, Jul. 25, 2003

In the year of our Lord 2001 I was dating a whiny little princess named Marcus. I don’t know if you could call it dating. It was more along the lines of me trying to run him off with a stick and him thinking I was trying to play fetch. He just showed up one day and wouldn’t leave until I got him his own apartment and moved him myself.

Marcus was good for several things: dancing at gay bars, movies, introducing me to View Askew Productions and the joy of Henry Rollins Spoken Word comedy. He also had a fabulous fashion sense* except that his hair was trapped in the 80’s.

*I swear… this guy was so in denial about his sexuality.

But that is neither here nor there.

On a balmy Tuesday night in March of 2001 we went to a seedy place in Deep Ellum [a clubbing area in South Dallas chock full of all things punk, pierced and alternative] called the Gypsy Tea Room.

The line for admission was out the door and wrapped around the corner at two hours before show time. There were about 300 chairs set up theater style inside the darkness of the club and people were even stacked up in the back of the room, lined along the walls and sitting Indian-style in the front “mosh pit” area.

The Fire Marshall would have had a coronary if he could have seen the insane raping of the occupancy laws that were being committed in the club that special, special night.

I perched Marcus on a seat with my purse next to him and headed towards the bar to get each of us two beers. I had no idea when I would be able to get back to the bar, the line was sheer craziness and it was about 20 minutes until show time. I made my way back to my seat and handed Marcus his beers. I looked around at the crowded room. The din of noise was almost deafening. I heard something coming through the chaos of hundreds of voices.

Could it be?

Yes, it was, Al Greene’s Greatest Hits Volume I. I knew right then, that this Henry Rollins guy was a shade on the all-right side.

I had only heard of a few things that were related to the name Henry Rollins. I knew of the Rollins Band, a hard-core metal band that was pretty large in Germany and several other countries over yonder. I knew of Black Flag, another hard-core metal band that Henry was a part of back in the 80’s. And I knew that he was the thick-necked police tough guy in that retarded film starring Charlie Sheen, “The Chase”.

I did not go into that spoken word concert expecting anything. I had been to many comedic performances in my day, but this was not billed as stand up comedy, or even funny in any sense, it was billed as spoken word. Did I find it Pretentious? Sure. But I was game for just about anything at that point in my life. [Hence the Pomeranian I called my boyfriend.]

Right on time the lights dimmed and the crowd hushed immediately.

Yes, I was impressed.

This stocky no-neck walked onto the blank, black stage with a stretch black silk t-shirt, faded, denim jeans that fit like skin and black motorcycle boots on. Go ahead, take a look. Not the tallest man in the world, but JesusGod he exuded such an incredible presence. He immediately launched into a four-hour rant that covered everything from mullets to the English language. I swear to you people. I had never laughed so hard in my life.

Henry had just celebrated his 40th birthday and was showing a little gray. What can I say? Sexy. Even the strength with which he held and seemingly attacked his microphone (with sweat dripping off of him constantly) was somewhat erotic.

I learned several things that night.

1) That the English language is taken very literally all around the world. That an American may say to another American, “Get your shit together.” But a Russian fellow, upon hearing that phrase may repeat it as, “Your shit is all apart.” How beautiful is that?

2) That we are so used to having choices. Look at menus for goodness sake. When in a foreign country Henry and his band received a menu that said, “Your choice is fish.” Basically saying, you have no choice, live with it and be happy. I think “Your choice is fish” are words to live by.

3) Clitoral Bulge….. I think I’ll just leave that just the way it is and let you ponder.

A new band on the scene called The Ataris have redone the song “Boys of Summer” by Don Henley.

In the last verse the song changes the words to say BLACK FLAG sticker as opposed to the original lines that read:

Out on the road today, I saw a DEADHEAD sticker on a Cadillac
A little voice Inside my head said, "Don't look back. You can never look back."
I thought I knew what love was
What did I know?
Those days are gone forever
I should just let them go but-

I can see you-
Your brown skin shinin' in the sun….. et al.

Everyday I hear that song at least one time and so Mr. Rollins… you have been on my mind lately. Thank you for the entertainment and the education. I pray you come back to the Dallas area really soon!

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To understand this dear reward (above) at all, you must hie thee on and read gatsby’s grape ape entry and my comments.

And because of said comments he sent me my very own dream turtle in an email titled wee gift with these words attached, “my purple monkey is booked solid so i ordered you a tangerine turtle. hope he proves helpful.”

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