Wrong-Way Murphy-aka-Ian Murphy-Mitchard, Feb 09, 2006
Halloween. New Orleans. 2003. That was my goal, and had been for three long years. I was making record time hitchin', that is, before I met my new road-dog in Jackson, Mississippi. It had been a hell of a trip, to say the least, and the worst was yet to come. My last ride dropped me off at the Pilot and I walked down the fuel isle asking the first trucker I saw if he was headed south. I looked up into the cab and I'll be damned, it was plastered with Misfits posters and other punk paraphernalia. I'd been travelin' since I was sixteen years old, and I'd never met no punk-rock truckers. Hippies, rednecks, butt-rockers, speedfreaks, family men, drunkards...but this was something new. I was wearing, as usual, my Misfits crew shirt, and smiled. He was hopping down as I stood there. Black hair, studded belt, Ressurection t-shirt with Jerry and Doyle vampin' on the front. I didn't say anything, I just stood there. We looked each other up and down and it was he who asked, "Where ya goin'", in his thick Jersey accent. "New Orleans", I said. "Shit", he said,"I'm goin' west, I'll give ya a ride ta Cali.". Now I was hell-bent on New Orleans, ya see, it was a matter of principle at this point. Nine months locked up and two years on parole in Chicago, with that date, October twenty-sixth, held out in front of me...just enough time to hightail it to Halloween, with a little luck. My boy Catfish rode through town with his old lady and Hatred (R.I.P.) in tow, and he said one night, "Just do it Ian, finish the shit. This bein' on the run's a losin' game".He was A.W.O.L. from parole then, and I hear he did his time... eventually. It's all I'd had to look to for so long. Otherwise I'd of rode just for the hell of it, shit, I might have ended up a trucker livin' in Lodi, N.J. "Nice shirt", he said. I turned around and took off my leather, revealing the Crew emblem on the back. "Where'd ya get that", he said. I told him an abbreviated version of the story. My buddy Scott Ashe, a deadhead kid, was from Jersey, and worked for the 'Fits for years. He finally got me a spot on Crew, at $500 a week, and it came open while I was sitting in county jail, fixin' to go down. " No shit", he said. "So you know Doyle?" "Nope", I replied. "Coulda's, woulda's, and shoulda's...I fucked that one up real good." He was already dialing on his cell-phone when he said, "Ya wanna talk to Doyle?" "No", I thought, "not really". If I was Doyle I wouldn't wanna talk to me, thats for sure. He's a nice guy, I met him backstage at the Maritime in San Francisco when Spider and I got on the guest list. He was sitting on the stairs with James Hetfield and Jerry Only. when my friend Bob introduced us, and they were so nice. Kinda cracked me up. All this corpsepaint, leather, chains, violent lyrics,and they're all soft spoken and like "So you know Scott, right on", as they signed my C.D. Spider was gowed out, and on the way out he opened his eyes and brushed his greasy hair back, revealing the spikes and crown tattooed on his face, and said "I think I just lost all respect for the Misfits, thanks Ian" A second later he was checking my story, and handed me the phone. I didn't know what the fuck to say, and Doyle said, "So, you're the guy who couldn't make tour cause he was in the joint...Scotts friend." "Yep", I said."Thats me". Real eloquent, huh. Probably could've gotten my job back if I was on my game. Instead we had an uncomfortable silence and he said, "Well, Rock on!", and I halfheartedly returned the salute. We stood in line at the truckstop�s McDonalds I heard a voice behind me say �Whaddya think you�re part of some kind of Carhart mafia or some shit?�. I looked behind me. There I stood, ten years older, maybe, but we were dressed about the same , black Carhartts, old t-shirt , the same waterproof swiss army pack. My bag was disintegrating after five years of use, but my jeans were new. His pants were shredded but his pack couldn�t have been more than a few months old. He tried hard to keep a straight face. It didn�t last for long, though, and we busted up laughing. We shook hands. �Wrong �Way Eddie�, he said. �Ian� I replied. The trucker bought me a meal and left, leaving us to share what food we had and made fast friends, talking shit and trading stories. �I�ve been stuck here for over a week�, he said. "Fuckin� flyin� a sign over there at the on-ramp. Tried hitchin� for a couple days and gave up, started drinkin�. There�s some homebums livin� across the way, in those woods. If I camp with them any longer I�ll be one!� �Shit", I said, "I just got off parole on the 26th.,a couple days ago. Left from Chicago that day. Fucked up shit, man. A year in, two on parole for a burglary rap. Never try and steal shit in a blackout. Try and remember that. The courtrooms a fuckin� runaway train when you�re broke. My lawyer sold me out and I ended up in bootcamp. Retreated into my mind, and I got out in kick-ass shape, to a FUCKED halfway house on the west side, and maxed out credit cards to get a place. Never max out your own credit cards. Much more fun with someone elses. Try and remember that. Then I hooked up with a hot , European, dreadlocked artist, and a chefs job in a restaurant paying $11.50, keys, no supervision, heroin delivery and all. But I can�t tell you how good it feels to be out here again�. �Oh, I can imagine�, he said, looking out the window. �Its fucking cold out there man,�I wish I still had a van. My ex had a van once. After she dumped me it burned on the side of the road in Louisiana. That�ll show the bitch!��Holy shit �, I said, �you mean in Dec. �99, between Austin and New Orleans with Ferret and Jason? I was on that fucking roadtrip! We hopped in that bitches van in Albquerque . I got out just in time, in Austin. Your ex was an oogle cunt, dude! Ridin� my fucking nerves she was so I told them I�d beat �em to New Years. Which I did. The way they told it, the vents started blowing smoke, and they didn�t even have a chance to get their shoes before they were standing on the side of the highway barefoot, watching the van burn in the moonlight. Lucky a trucker picked �em up and bought �em shoes! What the fuck you tellin� my stories for!!�.�What the fuck you finishing my stories for!� he replied, laughing.
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�You wanna split a forty�, he asked, �I got enough�. I lowered my head and motioned for him to come close, looking back and forth conspiritorily. �You wanna shoot some dope? I got cleans and everything!� This is, as you can imagine, a junky�s dream any day, but in the middle of nowhere it�s a wet dream. His eyes got wide and he grinned ear to ear, showing his rotting teeth. �You mean�..I can stop drinking?�, he said, �I�ve been stuck here for so long�.�. He looked like he was about to cry, so I said �Come on". We stepped out into the overgrown lot behind the dumpster and sat down in the tall grass. He tagged W.W.R.R. between two crossed tracks while I sat down. It was late at night, just a streetlamp shining down on us. �Go in my bag and gimme my rigs�, I told him. I picked up a beer can, ripped it in half and made a cooker. I knelt down, picked up an old cigarette butt , pulled a little bit off in my teeth and rolled it into a little ball. I drew up 60 units of water from Eddies canteen and put the rig in my teeth. Slipping a finger behind a patch in my old leather jacket, I pulled out my last foil packet. I unwrapped it, dumped it all in the cooker and threw the foil on the ground. I squirted the water on the dope and put the rig back in my teeth, then popped the plunger out with a flick of the wrist. I stirred and lit the cooker. The flame blackened the bottom , turning the water yellow and separating the cut to the bottom when it reached a boil. I dropped the tiny cottonball in, put my works together with one hand and bit the orange cap off. The steel tip hit the filter and I pulled the plunger back with my thumb. It came back seventy-two units. I gave myself the majority, Eddie half of what was left. I put the rest down, extended my arm and made a fist. I hit on the first try. Oh, those were the days. About the time I had the shit put away, it came from within, going into my head and out my limbs. The warm, subtle rush of heroin. Yeah I was feelin� good. Eddie hit a vein a minute later, and it hit him good. God only knows how many beers he�d drunk., but since it didn�t kill him he did the rest immediately. �Here we go again�, I thought. But he was fine. The truckstops sign was up on a hill in front, and we set up camp there for some reason. The fog was thick up there, everything soaked, sky spittin�. A few hours, and a few beers later. He was rolling down the hill in the fog, jumping up and down in mud puddles, then do it all again, ranting and raving. It was fucking hilarious. I was laying there relaxing, thinking what a weird sonuvabitch Eddie was. But when I tried to stand up to piss, I slipped down the hill too. At dawn, freezing cold, wet and tired, we sat in the back corner of the tiny truck-stop laundryroom in our dirty boxers, drinking a quart of Blue-bull. We left a few hours later, drunk on beer, jacked on coffee, a little tornado of dirt settling behind us in the corner, leaving it black with mud. Our clothes were warm and dry, but our hands and faces were crusted black even though we�d scrubbed. I did my meager wake-up in the bathroom and sighed. The dope was gone. The sickness is inevitable, and keeps you runnin' as it nips at your heels. At least I wasn�t far from New Orleans, and at least I had money in my boot. We walked out in the morning sun and headed south, but a day later, when we, (fortunately), got kicked off the freight train we were forty miles east. We�d gone the wrong way.... Dammit, Eddie.>>>>>>>>>>> Next installment!!!Wrong-Way gets arrested on Bourbon St. on Halloween, Ian falls in a ditch next to a sewage treatment plant in Avondale on the way to the trainyard, then violently fucks his new traveling companion, the lovely, crusty, dreadlocked Abby while covered in some nasty shit. I�m glad life�s been so interesting, �cause I could never think some of this shit up.>>>>>>> Ian Murphy-Mitchard�..for I am a raindog too..
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