I’m trying to write this epic about Ulaanbaatar, work a full-time job, relax while waiting for reviews on the first book, and be the right kind of married man. Does anyone want to hear about those things? No. They want more of the junky-vampire-stripper-sex dungeon-blood letting in front of Hells Angeles eating sushi-My little pony collecting folks I lived with in San Francisco in that old Victorian on McCalister that used to be a brothel in the 20s and had a giant ballroom that looked over the good part of the city. I mention those things in passing in the office and everyone wants to hear more. Let’s go out for a drink they usually say, thinking that there’s more to the story than that. What else is there?
They stole my socks I tell them. That’s what I remember the most. Junkies usually don’t do their laundry and they were always stealing my clean socks, which were important to me. They want more of the stories of how they would sit down to dine with the head of the church of Satan, or want to see pictures back stage of the Old O’Farrell Theater where she used to dance. The vampires were a couple actually. She was a fantastic writer and a good earner to. She’d make around 500 cash a night doing whatever she did onstage and back stage. He wasn’t so much of an earner. He’d wear silver Underoos around the house waiting for her to come home with something to eat and enough cash to get them through the night.
He was interesting in a character way I guess if you were reading a story. Like her, he had porcelain fangs surgically inserted into his gums. He was tall, pale and very skinny. He grew up in Hawaii, so I guess looking like that, he hated the sun and being a vampire really made sense to him. There were pictures of dolls dresses with holes cut out of them hanging on his wall next to the antique glass cabinet with all of the My Little Ponies inside. When you talked to him, he’s comb their hair with a special little comb.
It was 1993 when I moved in. Might have been ’94. I don’t know. I was smoking so much back then and living in San Francisco before the internet came and changed it all. Back then, you would go shopping for rooms to move into and just live in a house with a bunch of folks that had lived there for a long time before you and pay them around 300 dollars a month. Sometimes you’d get someone cool who would work all the time and you’d hardly see them, and sometimes, like this time, you’d get vampires. The vampire thing I knew right away, because when you want to move in, everyone who lives in that place sits with you and interviews you to see if you’re the right kind of fit.
I guess they thought I was Okay because it didn’t bother me that they were vampires. I mean, San Francisco, at that time at least, strange was the norm. I had no idea about the junk though. I never did the stuff, but I was reading about of the beats back then and just figured it would be something for me to write about one day.
There were about 7 people in total living in the house, but only two were vampires. The others, from what I remember, were a skater punk whore guy who looked like a goat and always picked his skin when he was high but who had a good heart and let you smoke his cigarettes which was okay by me. He shared his room with a girl who had, like many girls in San Francisco, lost herself in the madness of the city and was drowning herself in junk. Thing is, unlike the guy she shared a room with and the two vampires, she was pretty big. I didn’t know junkies could be fat.
Also, at that time, when I first moved in, and even after a few months of family meetings, I had no idea they were junkies. After we agreed on everything, and I moved my things in, they had told me that since it was my first night, that I should come and see them perform that night. They were doing a show at the Trucedero and they’d put me on the list. I was pretty happy. I was a junior in college and not really happy with any of the lit or creative writing classes I was taking, and these people seemed interesting to me. Hey, they put me on the list, right?
There were other people living in the house or maybe moving out of the house, I couldn’t tell. There was a room downstairs that people were moving out of I think ,and one at the end of the hall on the same floor that I, to this day, I still don’t remember what was going on in there. I think somebody lived there. Now that I’m writing this, I am remembering that people were moving out when I was moving in and they might have told me to get the hell out of there while I could, but I was young and looking for a story.
Let me see if I can remember the house. It was old and gothic on the outside. There was this strange clam shell awning over the top of the stoop. There were three apartments actually in there, but ours was the top. There were two levels to the one we lived in. The skater punk and his heavy girlfriend lived on the first floor and next to them was the room people were moving out of. A staircase sprang from the living to the next floor, which is where me and the vampires lived. I was just off to the side of the old ball room with the giant windows that looked over the city. The view was incredible if you looked out. My friends would come over and play football in there it was so big. There was a long hallway that led down to their room which was far enough away from mine that I thought the whole ballroom was mine.
So my first night, she invited me to come and see the show and I went. Like I said, I was on the list.
The line was filled with people all dressed in black – not vampire gothic black or anything like that. Mostly leather and hats. I can’t tell you what their faces looked like, but they were waiting a long time to get in there. I walked to the front in my baggy Fresh Jive pants and long wallet chain hanging from my side and my ball cap heavily tacoed out and gave the man my name. When he saw whose list I was on, he smiled and opened the rope for me.
“Enjoy,” he said.
The music was a mix of everything. All of San Francisco was like that back then. You’d hear anything anywhere. It was pretty heavy house I guess, though I can’t be sure. I was just living it. The guy vampire saw me came up with a fist full of drink tickets and a big smile.
“You came! great. We were wondering if you were going to show up? Do you want something to drink? We can drink whatever for free.”
I got a beer or something – i was more of a smoker then than a drinker, so I asked if I could smoke and he seemed please that I asked.
“Man, you can do anything in here, be yourself.”
I packed a pipe full and smoked, offered him but he said no, and took a look around. There were tons of Hells Angels there. They were at least dressed like Hells Angels. You couldn’t tell. They may have been stockbrokers during the day. They were all eating sushi.
“She’s about to go on,” he said, grabbing my land and leading me through the crowd of maybe-Hells-Angels sushi face stuffers. When we got to the font of a stage, I saw my roommate, my new roommate, dressed in a long leather robe hold a whip. The stage hand was just finishing up tying up this bald-headed girl with a tattoo on the top of her head and large hoops in her lobes. My new roommate was twisting her wrist hold the whip and measuring distance. Next to her was a table full of syringe needs neatly laid on a table. She saw me and smiled, then waved hello.
“Cool,” the guy said. “We’re about to get started. Just chill here. You’ll like it.”
He walked up next to her and she walked about 5 steps from the girl. The guy started sticking needles into the girl who was tied up and started feeding her blood that was he taking out of her arms. The sushi eating Hells Angeles started to cheer and clap. The woman vamp starting whipping the tied up girl while her own blood was dripping from her mouth. Everyone was having a fantastic time. The Hells Angeles were nodding at each other.
I turned to one of them. “Those are my new roommates,” I said.