Monday, September 29, 2008

the old man

just walks around and around the traffic circle outside my house. I live in such a charming Virginia neighborhood, awash with water, old homes, and tiny girls on bikes that wave at you even if you're a grown-up, and but this man in his tucked-in T-shirt just keeps with the circle. How you like that?

Funeral today for my roommate's dad. Pray for us sinners, now. (At the hours of our deaths save it for somebody who could really use an Amen.)

Friday, September 26, 2008

quick thought on gestures that pantomine masterbation

you know that hand gesture people do that mimmicks a male masturbatory? and you know how that is supposed to say, 'Hey, I don't favor the idea you're speaking about!"?

what i don't get is, shouldn't that hand signal be a sign of support? (because who doesn't like masturbating.)

it should be peace sign, thumbs up, and the jack-off gesture. three options when you're A-OK with something, walking down the street, just being cool with everything.

Monday, September 22, 2008

programing note

Sooo... I'm going to start posting something on this every Sunday night or Monday morning, for those of you who (so kindly) check in from time to time.

The previous post appeared on Sunday in the paper here, the Virginian-Pilot. When searching for it online, I did a Google: "Jesse Scaccia" Norfolk. What should come up? Porn sites. But of course.

In any case, that story was about my new friend Hollywood. It's 'straight' but still a decent read. Mangia.

- Jesse

Hollywood, always up to no good

location ghent, virginia
25 (friends)
1 (not-necessarily-welcome baseball hats)
1 (and only, Hollywood)


Linder Lue Lawrence has been blessed with many inter-personal gifts, but reacting with equal enthusiasm to all presents at her birthday party is not one of them.

Upon receiving a baseball hat, she looked at it quizzically and put it back down without so much as a grin. But the next present, a Dale Earnhardt Jr. t-shirt, that she liked.

"Dale Junior, Dale Junior!" she screamed, turning every head (and smile) in the room. "I love NASCAR. I'm gonna be famous."

But then again, what would Lawrence, better known as Hollywood, do with a baseball hat? She already has one with her name written in all capital letters on the inside of the up-turned bill, and when she's not wearing that there's always the wig of long, flowing blond hair to fall back on.

Hollywood, 52, has a cognitive disability, but this party was not held at a group home or organized by social workers. Like many Norfolk residents, she gathered with friends at a local restaurant. She ordered cold beer. She danced and, oh man, did she sing.

"Hollywood is my best friend," said Diana Ray, organizer of the party and a barista at Elliot's Fairgrounds in Ghent, Hollywood's favorite hang-out. "She's the most emotionally salient of all my friends. My mom invited me to Thanksgiving in Louisiana this year but I told her no, I have plans with Hollywood."

Hollywood lives on her own in an apartment on Spotswood Avenue, near Elliott's. She is looked after by Hope House, an organization that provides supported living services for about 125 adults with developmental disabilities in the Hampton Roads area. Hope House's goal is to assist cognitively disabled people become integrated in their community and to make real, natural connections. Hollywood has been involved with Hope House for 30 years.

"Hollywood spearheads making connections and initiating relationships. She is our poster child," said Debbie Knowles, a team leader at Hope House who works closely with Hollywood. "She's the mayor of Ghent."

Hollywood's birthday party, which has been an annual tradition for years, is a symbol of Hollywood's success. One friend drove her, while another organized a red carpet from the street to the doors of Tortilla West. No less than a dozen digital flashbulbs popped as Hollywood made her spinning, hip-shaking entrance, in front of some twenty-five of her friends. At one point she fell from all the hair flips and Marilyn Monroe poses she was doing for the cameras.

On the ground, she just laughed and shouted her own personal catch phrase. "To the moon!"

"Put this on youtube!" she said. "Put me in the New York Times. I'm gonna be on Entertainment Tonight."

One place where Hollywood is undeniably famous is Fairgrounds, where she spends many of her days.

"She's sort of the social centrifuge of Fairgrounds," said Brian Parris, 28, a research scientist and regular at the coffee shop. "She's so likable and approachable that if you meet her and you're not somewhat charmed, it's like 'What's wrong with you?'"

Hollywood greets everyone she knows with a hello and a broad smile. She always orders the same thing- cold tea with liquor- before busting out with a laugh and saying, "Just kidding. That's crazy." Hollywood loves NASCAR, painting, and has a hot and cold relationship with Maury Povich. If she thinks a man is handsome, she tells him he looks like a race car driver. To Hollywood a beautiful woman is- what else could they be?- a movie star.

"Hollywood is always happy," said Corey Castelow, 17, who Hollywood calls Big Bird. "After you see her your tummy hurts from laughing so hard. She's my legal drug."

For Ray, who considers herself a certified member of Hollywood's entourage, their relationship is deeply meaningful.

"She has made me a lot less shy, a lot more open to meeting people," Ray said. "Hollywood can't read or write, so television and movies are something she can understand. I think she wants to be famous so that more people can know someone like her."

Hollywood, who was born in Virginia Beach and suffered a childhood of abuse and group homes, is no longer in communication with any of her blood relatives. But she does have her "soul sisters," as she calls them, her friends from the coffee shop. Her date to the party was her friend Rosa, a cognitively disabled friend from Hope House.

Someone asked Hollywood what she would do with all that money if she ever did become rich and famous, like she wishes.

"I'm gonna buy Rosa things," Hollywood said without hesitation, grabbing her soul sister's hand. "I'm gonna take her to Hollywood."

For more information on Hope House visit Hollywood's art work will be on display at Hope House's Stockley Gardens Arts Festival held on Oct 18 and 19.

Monday, September 8, 2008

poetry hour

hey y'all
this is my first try at serious poetry in a long time, so take it easy on me. it's a theme i've dealt with before as well.

Naked Goat Farmer

Possibly never in history
has there been a human so adroit
at bringing the conversation
boomerang-whip back to
hanging out naked.

It was a Yahoo! messenger
conversation with a farmer
I was meant to work for
in West Cork.

I'd ask for dates.
He'd ask if I knew about naturalism.

I'd ask for daily responsibilities on the farm.
He'd say that there's a well-secluded sauna.

Thinking myself clever, I asked
if he played chess.
No, but I'll play you
and the loser has to-
(wait for it)-
milk the goats in the buff.

I was writing about the organic movement
and since nothing is more organic
than a grown man's dirty balls,
I said

On the agreed upon day he picked me up
in town.
His pants fit funny and were hiked too high,
but why bother trying on pant after pant
if you're just going to throw them off.

His shirt was tucked too tight,
but then again, tight things are
easier to full-fistedly rip
off one's back.

I'm somewhat disappointed to report that
he remained remarkably clothed
for the entire duration
of the ride home.

I digress to remember a scene
in the classic movie Airplane!,
when the pilot asks the little boy,
'Joey, have you ever seen a grown man naked?'

Joey, not only have I been to
that brink, I've gone beyond.

My naked man had hips
like a woman,
a slightly concave chest,
and the bush of a wildman.

That night I tried to appease him
by splitting a Bailey's
in my underwear,
while he, naked, crossed
his legs tightly,
possibly against the laws of
physics, I could see for myself.

At bed time I locked the door.
Then I checked it.
And then I did that thing where
you open the door, and then lock it,
and then check from the other side
to make sure it's really locked.

And then I was locked out

Slightly drunk on Irish liqueur
I went outside to climb through my window
but the window was locked
and trying the front door...
now I was double locked out.

Leaving me feeling
double naked.

And it was kind of cold out
and even though naturalism
isn't about "size," well,
you always want to put on a
good showing,

you know.

Worse than the nudity
or my 'I was in the pool!' moment
was feeling horrible
about waking up my new host,
because sometimes when you
wake someone up
they have a hard-on like
the flag pole at the White House
and maybe he also had to get up early
the next morning
to go to the market
or something.

With the innate humility
of a mid-transition transsexual
I rang the door bell.


A light goes on in the back of the house.
The moonlight casts the shadow
of a man
behind the shades.
A rusty key turns.
The slow shifting of lock gears.
And the door flies open!
As if taken by the wind!

There stands the Naked Goat Man
in slippers,
a plush (is that goose down?) bathrobe and,
you won't believe me but it's true,
even a night cap.

'It's bloody freezing out,'
he admonished me.
'Get some damn clothes on.'