How Henry Rollins Just Fucked My Mind

I have a day job. I manage a grocery store, and I listen to audio books that I get from the library while I’m in my car. I lost one of my daughter’s checkouts and ran up a $50 late fee. I didn’t want to take the hit during Christmas, so instead I got on the computer and put a few books I have there onto my iPhone. When I did so, I also got a few of Henry Rollins’s spoken words. I hadn’t listened to them in over 10 years, so I started playing them. Some of the reality and bull shit Hank spewed out kind of had my mind side tracked, especially since I have to work at 4 in the morning.

While I’m in my own little world of Rollins’s angst fueled, intellectual without a clue, panties in a bunch, brilliant bullshit, in walks one of my regular customers. This gal, sweet as the day is long, had approached me a few months ago with a spaced out look in her eyes and asked me why I’m always in such a good mood. I guess she was thinking that here’s this middle aged guy, working a dead end job, and smiling like a Buddha to every son of a bitch that walks in the door. It may have seemed normal if I was an idiot, but I carry myself as someone that is in control, so this gal must have thought I was cued into something. I told her then that I was usually thinking about my writing. She asked what I wrote, and I told her I wrote sick and twisted horror in hopes that she would just nod and walk away, like oh, he’s just fucking weird, but she didn’t. She started asking about my writing. I told her about Death’s Disciples and she seemed really interested. I started thinking that maybe this older gal was a horror fan. She didn’t look the type, but then again, my grandmother loved Stephen King. I was ready to hit her with a sales pitch when she told me that she is a strict Christian and can’t read stuff like that. She was sweet about it though and continued to ask about my book or writing every time she came in.

So here I am thinking about Rollins, and in walks this conservatively dressed, conservatively minded lady that looks like she just came from a bible study. She looked like the type of lady that showers in a bathing suit because she’s uncomfortable being naked. She sees me and waves. “Hi Rob,” she says. I say hi, and go back to thinking about Rollins punching some lugs teeth out.

“How’s the writing?”

“Great,” I said. “Going really well,” and my mind is back to Rollins at a throat doctor.

“Do you like Henry Rollins,” she asked.

I froze. My mind started rationalizing this. You lost it, I told myself. You’ve finally lost your fucking mind. You have started imagining aging super Christians being closeted punkers. I don’t think I said anything. I just stared at her.

“His music used to really speak to me, and I think he is just such a smart man. I just love his spoken word stuff,” she said.


“Have you never heard of him?” She asked. “I don’t listen to it anymore because it doesn’t really work with my religion and my husband got kind of jealous over my obsession.”

“I…I know of him,” I said, thinking I’ve just somehow ended up in a David Lynch film. And this is how my brain works: from that thought I instantly thought that Rollins was in Lost Highways by David Lynch, they’re in on it together, they’ve taken over my mind, and they are fucking my skull. Meanwhile, this nice old lady waved good buy and went over to find the least phallic looking cucumber. I just walked around for about three minutes looking around for the midget in the room of red curtains or the chick with the big cheeks. Thanks Hank.