come home with me. we should get married.
navigation thingie
me and my big head. what happens if you click it?


copyrights, usage and general site information. you can click it.

Join the TREMBLE 2K Street Team for site updates, preferential treatment, and invaluable girl talk:

makes it go.


The first thing you notice at the racetrack is this: one spends a lot of time staring at the back of people's heads. Keep in mind this is Sunday afternoon, and the temperature is cold enough to warrant adorable wool cozies for the horses and their jockeys. Therefore, attendance was spotty and committed; no wandering eyes or distracted, swiveling heads. Except mine, of course. I hadn't been to the track since I was a child, when my grandfather and his son would take us to the track, thinly veiled summer outings that served as a front for their love for gambling - like a field trip to a convention for volatile, sartorially challenged men. (My uncle, who lived at home until he was 35, was a professional lawyer, impassioned handicapper, and perennial bachelor. He was also the only living man in my personal experience that used HI-KARATE after-shave. Looking back at those two sentences it seems like many of the elements, in any order, could easily add up to "perennial bachelor." So foolproof is this formula for late-adult bachelordom that I was tempted to change "professional lawyer" to "TSR pewter figurine collector" because I that one single flaw in perfection nagged at me. I only resisted because I decided the lawyer wildcard contributed to some theory of chaos of which I am still only vaguely aware. Did I mention he wore golf shirts for all occasions? Did I need to?) I didn't have the heart or stomach for gambling back then, often betting my allotted $4 on a few horses with funny names to 'Show' - a coward's bet, my grandmother would assure me, blowing acrid cigar smoke in my face. Worse yet I eventually received the nickname "Chipwich" from my entire immediate family, for my tendency to blow half of my gambling allowance at the racetrack's Chipwich vendor. I thought of him as my bookie. I was adorable, and I always went home with a dollar and delight in the knowledge that I was a risk-shy fattie.

Today Chipwich found himself reunited with the horse track, in the ugliest of places on the ugliest of days. The second thing you notice after all the strange heads spotting the clubhouse stadium seats is: no one looks rich. No one. It's no different than I remembered it, except the leisure suits have been swapped out for sweatshirts over Dockers or Members Only jackets, and plaid hats have been retired as an accessory, giving way to the rise of fanny packs. There is clearly a lot of money diverted from Clothing or Hygiene Funds, and channeled directly into Superfecta Securities. The off-brand jeans, rumpled tracksuits, eight-dollar haircuts, and throwback facial hair (and I'm talking about the women now) should all be seen as symbols in a very rich cautionary tale about the dangers of excessive gambling.

My optometrist gambles. In his own words: "I can spend $100 for 50 minutes of therapy and feel shitty about myself for the rest of the day, or gamble $100 in 50 minutes and have a great time." (He did. And he did.) This seemed to me a logically infallible statement, but I was still a little woozy from the two hotdogs I'd just inhaled. (The hotdogs reminded me of the racetrack denizens, rolling over themselves endlessly, getting old and cracked. And the hotdog lady - wow. She looked like she arrived at the racetrack in a crate with the hotdog cooker, 37 years ago. She probably suffered from second-hand nitrates.) My optometrist demonstrated a few old-hand tricks, like arriving late and asking financially ruined, departing gamblers if you can have their racing programs. (A $2 savings! And absolutely preferable to rooting through a trashcan at the racetrack entrance, which my optometrist was also prepared to do.) When an old-timer handed me his program as our opposite-direction escalators met for a moment (And this did seem like the kind of place where you could call someone 'old-timer' without being disrespectful. But this is also a place where I saw a thick-necked man in a white turtleneck - a clothing choice that raises all sorts of irrational red flags for me - call his father, clearly an old-timer, a "fucking idiot in [his] old age.") I felt a small sense of kinship. But where other writers might take a moment like this and attach a sentimental importance - a sweet moment of nearly-Zen inclusion, if you will - I was not so myopic that I believed this bond actually existed. And if I did, that self-congratulatory bubble was burst when, moments later, an elderly black man who looked like he took the wrong turn at the crossroads, called me a shitball for squeezing by him in the middle of a televised race.

The third thing you notice at the racetrack is: numbers rule. They have an almost kabalistic importance in this world. So many numbers in so many equally significant configurations, it makes you nauseous. Even watching a live race, I couldn't follow the lighted numbers board that changed frequently, displaying important information about each horse and his standing in the race. I always liked those carnival games where you control the horse race through squirt guns or miniature skeeball. In that type of racing, the only number that counts is your own. At the racetrack numbers and their precise order are always at stake. My optometrist was incredibly facile at this system, often slipping into an autistic trance as he considered trifectas, exactas, and funkmastas. Me? I went for the funny names again, but this time I through a twenty dollar bill at my favorite name, to win. It didn't matter to me one way or another and I decided that the greatest pleasure in placing my bet was, in the event that Mister Poopies won the race, it would be a neat act of subversion in the face of all the calculated gambling bubbling up around me. Oh yeah - and fuck a Chipwich.


it's just a line; don't worry too much
read the archives, please. does that make me gay? meet the author, more or less. this is the email link you were perhaps looking for