Livestrong, Leave a Good Looking Corpse

2013 January 21
by Roman Stoad

Thanks Lance!: we hobos and street punks now have a new slang for getting high. Now we live strong. When ever Roman came upon a stash, or had the extra cash for some red whisky, he used to ask his buddies if they wanted to get high. Now he asks them if they want to “live strong,” and they get it.  They say, “Hey man, lets go down by the river and live strong. That’s what we do. And it’s not just my circle of ne’er-do-wells who have adopted this new terminology. It is spreading through the culture.

Someone on the street the other night asked me if I wanted to “livestrong.” And I heard a dope seller over on Brad Pitt Street selling something in a glassine bag he called “Livestrong.” He swore up and down it would make me feel like a winner. And indeed I felt like getting me a taste, but I was broke. Living strong, after all, may sound like a philosophy of life, but it does require a certain amount of disposable income. I even heard the college jocks in Williamsburg shouting out about spending the whole night “living strong and getting laid.”  Long ago Roman used to get laid, but no more—living strong caught up with him. Though he remembers a bar he used to frequent in his randy youth called “The Get Me High Lounge.” The owner OD’ed and the place closed down, but if the joint still existed today it could be called the “Livestrong Lounge.”  Perhaps the increased consonance would have attracted a more upscale crowd.

Now Roman knows that a lot of his friends are trying to get hold of those Lance Armstrong yellow wristbands cause they serve a whole new purpose these days—kind of like a hospital tag from Woodhull, all you have to do is wear one in the right neighborhood and the local candy man will find you. But the irony and its rewards won’t last, the window of opportunity is already closing. For the time being, however, let it work for you. For instance, the cops are totally fooled by the new terminology. You can say right in front of them: “Hey officer, I’m going to live strong from now on.” If they are not fooled into believing you’re on the road to redemption, all they can do is snicker and suspect you of sarcasm. And, for those of you who sometimes apply for jobs: when they ask if you have any vices, you can truthfully answer, “Only that I like to live strong every day, sir.” They will nod in approval. Of course you probably won’t get the job anyway, but at least both you and the human resources flunky can leave that room with the feeling that the world is moving forward.

I think it was Johnny Cash in his song Sunday Morning Coming Down who said, “Lord, I’m wishing’ I was stoned.” And I think it was Glen Jones on his radio program who said “Keep your face on the floor and keep reaching for the car keys.”  Well Roman Stoad says, with a perfectly straight face, “Live strong and drive the crooked lane.” And thank Lance for this recontextualized linguistic advantage. We out here may not be able to ride fancy bikes or ruin peoples lives, attacking the innocent with hatred and bile, while making millions off of our lies. but we can certainly “live strong” for a couple of hours and forget about our lowly position in this world, where celebrity frauds like Lance steal whatever they can take and get praised for it.

Play to win!

And Roman Stoad may not be “The Most Interesting Man in the World,” but he can certainly adopt his sophisticated  attitude.Surrounded by beautiful women half his age “The Most Interesting Man” says “Stay Thirsty my Friends.” He means this as a call to engage life at it fullest, to always wish to strive for and experience the new. Roman Stoad, surrounded by ugly people in dirty clothes says “Live Strong, my friends,” by which he means, try to make it through another day on this “bitch of an earth.” (1)

(1) Pozzo, from Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett.

One Response leave one →
  1. 2013 January 21
    Ando Arike permalink

    You go, Dude! Roman’s on a roll here, cooking with gas, firing up a stem to “Live Strong!”

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.