I don’t hit women

I try never to post back-to-back journal entries because it’s redundant, and redundant = boring. But I just found this episode and it’s too juicy to sit on.


February 12, 1992

A few months ago, Candace and I had a fight on Avenue A. We got into a terrific shouting match—I don’t remember what over—and in the heat of it, when I was mid-rant, she turned to walk away and I reached out and grabbed the collar of her coat to stop her. She thought I was going to hit her. Of course, I wasn’t, wouldn’t, couldn’t, but she was convinced I was. That’s her reality and it’s as valid as my reality that I’d never, ever strike her. Or anyone. I’ve got a clean record.

We didn’t talk for about a month and then she called and we reconciled. I can’t say it’s back to the way it was. She won’t kiss me anymore and probably never will again. That’s gone. But we’re friends and for that I’m happy. We’ve put it behind us.

Well, she did kind of a dumb thing. She told Laura [Note: her girlfriend] that I lost my temper and was going to strike her and now she’s livid that Candace would spend any time at all with me. Apparently, Laura’s hatred towards me is an all-consuming inferno that’s growing inside of her. She’s hoping to bump into me on the street to, minimally, give me a piece of her mind or, if she’s in a bad mood, plunge a knife into my chest. Candace mentioned on more than one occasion that Laura is emotionally unstable, so it’s no joking matter.

I met Candace last night after work. We were supposed to see Reno perform at Dixon Place but we opted to shoot pool at Soho Billiards instead. It’s a new joint. It’s on Houston right across from The Knitting Factory. The table felt is bright and clean. The cues are smooth and straight. The tips aren’t all fucked up. $7/hr, which is the going rate, even at a dump like Julian’s on 14th Street. The clientele was mostly Latino and Chinese dudes (and some very hot Chinese girls) who carried their cues in expensive leather cases. There were a few white people on dates.

We finished playing and walked to a bar on 3rd Street and 1st Avenue. We sat at the bar and watched the Olympics for a while. There was a small pool table in the back where we played a Chinese guy and some old-timey Lower East Side barfly and got our asses kicked. Candace keeps telling me she’s a great player but I haven’t seen evidence of it yet.

After that, we took a table by the window to watch the Big Parade of Humanity on 1st Avenue. Best show in town. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw someone all bundled up glide by on a bike. It was freezing outside and I thought to myself, “What kind of idiot would ride a bike at this hour of night in this cold?” Candace said, “Jesus Christ! That’s Laura! I don’t want her to see me” and she kind of slouched down into her chair. Laura was out looking for her in all our old, familiar places that this heart of ours embraces.

Well, she spotted us through the window and stopped her bike a few doors down. Candace went out to talk to her. She came back a few minutes later. I asked what happened. She said, “I told her, ‘you know who I’m here with, so you can’t come in.’” It’s a good thing it was sub-zero outside or I’m sure a lengthy screaming match would’ve ensued. Candace said she’s got a couple of friends who want to be called right away when Laura confronts me because they don’t want to miss the fireworks. It’s all very exciting except for the part where I could get shot.

Poor Candace. She’s just trying to live her life and she’s in the middle of this mess. She said they fight all the time and she can’t leave the apartment without providing an explanation of where she’s going and who she’s seeing, which she absolutely loathes doing. It’s all going to implode soon. I might be even LESS safe after that happens.

I’d been drinking for a few hours and the notion of trying to kiss Candace started to percolate in the bad idea part of my brain. She was lamenting that one of her biggest failings in life is getting involved with people who turn out to be psychotic, but not having the wherewithal to recognize the warning signs early on. By the time the truth is revealed, it’s too late. After that, I decided against making a pass at her.

I told Kat about the whole episode and she got very angry at me for referring to Candace as my ‘bisexual friend.’ She’s got a point. Candace is my friend. There’s no need to qualify her sexuality. I don’t refer to Klinger as my ‘heterosexual friend.’ I’ve still got a few things to learn but, just between you and me, it’s kind of hard to ignore. It’s quite a distinction.


The day of the Ohio primary, this semi was parked near my brother’s house:


Keep Mexican dope in Mexico. 

How did this clown get this far? Howard Dean got tossed from the primary because he screamed “YEAH!” too loud. Michael Dukakis lost the election for wearing a helmet that was too big for his head while riding a tank. And poor Gary Hart! Hilary isn’t such a hot candidate, either. She’s the second worst thing that could happen to this country. Four more years of gridlock. In any other election cycle, neither one of them would’ve made it past October.

54 thoughts on “I don’t hit women

  1. I can’t remember who it was, but some comedian (maybe Seinfeld) said on a talk show that anyone who actually wants to be president has to be insane on some level. Explains this election. Also, at least half of Americans have really gone off the deep end. We’re a joke to the world. A reality show at its worst. (man, I sound pessimistic this morning! time for more coffee!)

  2. Pingback: I don’t hit women — Exile on Pain Street – brothersmurrayword

  3. Another great memory! I wish I’d journaled in more detail like this, instead of making it mostly about “boys.” I find it mildly disturbing how Candace painted you in this menacing light and then continued to see you and be followed by her psychotic friend (I’m assuming now that the friend was “more” than a friend?) There was definitely no shortage of drama in the city in those youthful days – for me either.
    And – while we’re on the subject of drama – I’ve given up following this political circus. It’s going to be what it’s going to be. Not to say that I can’t make a difference with my vote, but there seems to be a breathtaking amount of stupid out there. I’ll be there on November 4th, but I just can’t watch anymore.

    • If you go back and review all of these entries, aren’t they mostly about “girls”? That’s the core of it, anyway. I never post my complaining and moaning and groaning. Who wants to read that? I even bore myself when I read it.

      That’s an interesting take on it and one that didn’t occur to me. Was she playing us against one another? I don’t think that’s the case but I could be wrong. Your assumption is correct. Hence, the mania, I suppose.

      The political drama is like a horrific train wreck. Instead of giving up on it, I can’t seem to take my eyes away. You have to watch at least one debate. You must!

  4. Pingback: I don’t hit women — Exile on Pain Street | borthersmurrayworld

  5. I think your experiences gave you a better understanding of women than Trump has. Of course, Trump doesn’t have to understand women because he can buy them. If the debates get nasty it will work to Hillary’s advantage, because men aren’t supposed to attack women. 🙂

    • I don’t recall anyone accusing Trump of being a ‘man.’ Maybe in some weird, traditional sense but not by today’s norms.

      My experiences gave me, cumulatively, a better understanding of rejection and what it’s like to be the friend only.

  6. Well written Mark. Congrats on being “Discovered” – quite an honor. And remember how many of us have been saying you should write a book – excellent as always. Candace was an intriguing character – Laura was nuts. It is amazing how many nuts folk are out there just waiting for something to set them off. When you’re young you don’t notice them until after the fact – or until someone like Trump comes along that they identify with – Ha!

    • Thank you, Paul. The Discover thing is a real treat. I try to be all Zen and whatnot and stuff like that is supposed to be taken with a grain of salt but I am genuinely thrilled. I might try the book thing over the summer. We’ll see how it goes.

      Candace and I are still very close friends. All these years later! I send her some of my journal entries that involve her. She seems to enjoy the trips into the way-back machine.

      • Would love to see you have a go at the book thing man! Your posts, these entries are really juicy as you say. The only one probably to get in your way of that is you. (I’m speaking from experience. Stay out of my way, Mark.)

      • Thanks Bill. As we all know, talent without ambition is like youth being wasted on the young. As Bukowski said, there’s nothing worse than too late. So I’ll give it a try. I’ve nothing to lose.

  7. Right now, he’s probably up behind her
    With a pool-stick
    Showing her how to shoot a combo” Came to mind. You know what I think? I think you should have gone outside and confronted Laura. Maybe it would’ve got SO heated you both would have fallen into a deep, psychotic snogging marathon and ended up in a juicy threesome with the pair of these girls. Damn it, Mark! If only you’d known me back then and I could’ve encouraged you! You might not be alive now but it would’ve been a fun experience. Anyway, must go. I’m off on a Harley trip with somebody husband.

  8. Interesting point you make, what previous candidates did that killed their chances. Trump flat out said he could shoot somebody and it wouldn’t matter — and his supporters cheered! Unbelievable.
    Beautiful journal entry, by the way. Loved it.

    • Are you old enough to remember the big stink made because Jimmy Carter said he ‘lusted in his heart?’ Good heavens was that ever mild compared to what we’re faced with now!

      Thanks for the niceties about the entry. Lots more where that came from.

  9. OK. Let me get this straight. Candace, the woman who always gets close to psychos before they exhibit their psycho behavior and never notices it, decided that a non-psycho was a psycho … You could do a TV series based on this story.

    For the record, I never doubted that you don’t hit women.

    • We were all young and working our way around the difficult, fun, life and times of the pre-gentrified Lower East Side. It does play like a bad script. I’d do it all over again the same way.

      I believe that, in the end, she realized I wasn’t the type of man who would strike a woman. Otherwise, she never would have reconciled with me.

  10. Wow. Well the C lady was in my humble opinion playing you and her so called roommate. It’s called playing each end against the middle. One or some of the previous commenters, I think, also thought she was bisexual. Anyhow it was fun while it lasted and I’m curious to know what happened to Candace.

    Now about those candidates. It is obvious that Trump is not playing with a full deck. I prefer the lesser of the two evils and Clinton gets my vote. You might not like her but at least she understands diplomacy, foreign policy and, how government works. She was stupid to use her own email account but frankly she is not the first in public office to mess up. Yes, she brings along baggage but Trump has waaay too much luggage and further more does not care to control his mouth. He makes degrading remarks about women, minorities and, anyone that doesn’t agree with his bullying behavior.

    • Candace and I are still good friends to this day. She lives in rural New York. We meet in the city a couple of times a year in our old naib and complain about gentrification and how superior it was when we lived there. One of my oldest friends.

      There is no way in hell I’d vote for Trump. Puh-lease. Clinton is a flawed, weak candidate, but she’s my flawed, weak candidate. I just wish both sides could’ve done better. Very disappointed in both.

      • It’s good to know that you and Candace have remained friends. She indeed moved far away from the city. And- It really is good to know that you will not vote for Trump. You’re right about how the dems and the repubs chose candidates. But that is the result primaries. Frankly, all the folks that were running as a repub had not redeeming qualities and the democrats had no one that wanted to run except for the measly two or three.

  11. Damn, I get sick for a week and stuff happens and I haven’t a clue! “The Discover thing is a real treat.” Good on you, sweetpea! I wish I’d kept journals because it seems I’ve forgotten far more than I remember these days. xoxox

    • (Hit post too soon) Re: the elections, I can’t even bear to see the orange man much less listen to him. I’ll vote in November and hope for the best. Given my name and where I live, no matter who wins, people like me will still have to deal with those who followed the orange man! (Yes, like the President, I will not say his name!) *time for more coffee* xoxox

  12. Now who can ignore a post with a title like THAT?
    Also, I agree, this election is a mockery. Even a blogger I follow in China said our country has become a laughingstock thanks to TD and H.

    • Than you for noticing! Isn’t that just the best post title ever? Maybe I’ll use it for all my posts from now on. Or replace Exile in Pain Street, although I love that title very much.

      Do you know who’s benefiting the most from this mess? President Obama! His approval ratings are on a steady climb. He looks pretty decent when compared to what’s coming up.

  13. Oh the inevitability of human drama, we are as a species quite shit, of course don’t you love when you get blamed, accused, whatever for shit you didn’t actually do, and then through the telephone game it becomes worse and worse until i’m sure the friends of Candace had decided you beat her to within an inch of her life, (Laura certainly did), if i compiled all the shit i supposedly did or was accused of doing it would make War and Peace look like a short story… probably why i don’t leave the house much anymore… and in case you’re wondering i’ve watched none of the the NBA finals, why torture myself, like the Believeland documentary, someone asked if i watched it and i said why? to relive every crushing defeat from my youth? i’ll pass.

    • I think we were all in the sweet spot for drama and theatrics. I remember grabbing that collar and can certainly see how she might’ve gotten the impression I was a bit out of my mind. No matter. It was an isolated incident. We’re still friends.

      NBA? I’m sorry. What’s that?

  14. Omg. You folks are sure scraping the bottom of the barrel with Dumpy Donald and Hardbite Hilary. We had our turn at that a few years ago. You just have to live through it, but it’s not much fun.

    I really enjoy reading your old journal entries. 🙂

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