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Entry date: 9-30-2022 - Polka Dot Pad part 5 - Letters to My Friends

Dear Friends,

Thinking about this short, but volatile part of my life this week helped me realize that in those days, I thought I was invincible. It’s an odd thing to write after beginning to explore how much of the time I was growing up, I felt anything but that. I am so appreciative of the friendship I have received from Jeff, Matt, and Andy/Drew in this lifetime.

We had adventures and we were kind of unstoppable, it seemed, in that no one was going to tell us “no.” Even when Derek, who used to be a friend of mine, hit some poor kid on his bike as we were heading out to get beer and gave the kid all our beer money, we still managed to find a way to have fun. We were just lucky, I guess.

I think back to the times Jeff and I would need a little break and we’d head out on our skateboards and ride around the area. We’d often end up at the Tech school a block or so away. Could have been a DeVry campus for all I remember. We would lay down at the base of this huge flagpole they had and look up at the flag fluttering above us and talk about life and our goals and such. We were so bonded to each other.

I’ve been blessed with many good friends, but Jeff is right up there with all of them. We’ve had so much quality time together and I will forever be grateful for him taking me in and letting me know I had a place when I could have been out on the street. Truly. That was the direction I was headed in those days, and he made sure I was okay.

Matt and Drew, too, were both huge parts of my life. I can still count on them both for a good conversation, brotherly love, and a laugh, even if we haven’t talked for months or more than a year. It’s like no time passes. Drew and I would walk up to 7/11 a lot to get beer or a snack or something and he just seemed to know a little bit of everything about life. I loved to listen to him play guitar, too.

Matt’s sarcasm and lightning quick mind helped me learn to think and think fast. He kept me humble, a lot, by reminding me that I wasn’t as neat as I often tried to pass myself off as in those days. He was one of the big brothers I never had.

For all the partying we did, it was a place that we called home for a short period of time. It was a safe place, too, even in its recklessness. Eighteen is an age to be once in your life, it seems. I wouldn’t want to go back, but I also wouldn’t change it. I fucking lived that year.

One evening in particular always stands out to me. We had decided to get a little wild (unusual, right?) and got a pony keg after work. Bruce droves us, I believe, and Andy/Drew got it because he was 21. Bruce, Andy/Drew, Jeff, Matt, and I started playing quarters and hitting the small keg.

There are roughly 83 beers in a pony keg or, if you are doing the math, about 3 and a half cases. We were playing quarters with these large, probably 24oz cups that we had gotten from Pizza Hut, maybe 32oz, I don’t remember, and we killed that thing in less than an hour. A few more people showed up, too, but basically it was the five of us who destroyed it in what seemed like record time.

We ended up going through seven more cases of beer before nine or so that night, although our group grew to about 15-20 people. We had some red leopard skin blotter LSD and a bunch of us took some of that, too, so we were flying very high. We left the Polka Dot pad and headed downtown to 5th Street and Willetta where there was a band, The Godwads, playing.

On the way there, Suzi pulled into this drive-thru liquor store that used to be on McDowell near 32nd Street and almost took out the side of the building. Luckily there was no significant damage, but they almost refused to sell us beer until Suzi sweet talked the guy into relenting. While waiting for the light to change at the new overpass for the 51 freeway that was going in, some guy lipped off to Matt and he ended up getting out the car and punching him.

It was that kind of night.

We got to the house on Willetta and roamed around, frying our asses off. We eventually found our way upstairs to Joe’s bedroom. Joe had been in Mighty Sphincter and was now in Godwads. He made leather stuff for people into bondage and S&M and we just giggled away. Spectacular fun, truly.

Godwads were an amazing band. Kind of like the Phoenix prog/punk answer to Rush. Three-piece, all instrumental, and amazing. All three members of The Godwads are now dead, unfortunately, but wow. They blew us away. We stood in front of them and just soaked it all up. I can still see Joe and Doug’s hair blowing as they had big fans set up in front of them and Bob in the back wailing on his drums.

If you never got a chance to see them, you missed out. Easily one of the coolest and most talented bands to ever come from this town. We were mesmerized and rightfully so. I look back and wonder how I could drink like that and party hardy. It seems so foreign to me. If I had twelve beers in one night I would be down for three days, but that night I had over a case by myself before I left the house.

I remember realizing after we moved out that for about a six-week period during my short tenure at the PDp, I was probably drinking about 30 beers a day. Living on ramen and thirty beers wreaked havoc on my digestive system, but again, I lived to see the other side. I’m not proud of it, but I’m glad I went through it and I have the memories to prove it.

I’m leaving out tons of details here, but I kind of have to do so. We certainly had a lot of fun and, like I said earlier, those guys are very special to me. We did a thing. People had fun.

See you tomorrow.

I have this shirt. People give me looks when I wear it.

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1 Comment

Steve Roberts
Steve Roberts
Sep 30, 2022

I have that shirt somewhere from when Nick printed out a batch when Joe died.

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