Here We Are Now, Chapter Two

Here We Are Now

(the sequel to Ticket to Ride)

A Novel of the Grunge Generation

by philip scott wikel

Chapter Two

He imagined a gathering of women with one thing in common. They’d all been Dylan’s girlfriends at one time. They appeared as gargoyles set free from their perches atop gothic cathedrals with their focus on the one who appeared as the leader.

The room was dark with only the light of a candle emanating from a makeshift altar. On the altar there were herbs and charms and a likeness of “the goddess” holding a snake in either hand. Medea began the incantations as the rest joined hands. Their faces becoming hollow like so many skeletons.

“… from the mouths of children, fools, and the weak-minded, we will surround him with false witness, lies, and confusion… RUMORS GIRLS!, will be our best form of black magic,” Medea continued, her voice strained with hatred, “to the end that he capitulate and we gain our vengeance.”

Capitulate, he thought? What is it they want? Me dead?

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Here We Are Now, chapter 1

Well here it is, unedited (at least not edited by anyone but myself) and, for the most part, unread by anyone but you and me. It’s quite different than Ticket to Ride but I hope you will enjoy it just the same. Brace yourselves. This piece will, at times, be angry and dysfunctional, raw but redemptive, and, hopefully, beautiful and inspirational. Enjoy.


Here We Are Now

A Novel of the Grunge Generation


by philip scott wikel

Here we are now, entertain us. – Kurt Cobain, 1990



Summer 2002

Dylan walked into Walmart thinking “I need to hook up with some white trash slut and get laid.”

This thought troubled him.

When did I become so shallow, he thought?

His answer was that he believed he’d been cursed by his ex-girlfriend Heather. He also believed, he’d become acutely aware of the way in which the women he seemed to attract functioned. He was wise enough to know it wasn’t all women. Heather had been a good liar and quite adept at acting and it had taken only a few weeks to figure it out. The old wives tale goes something like, “you have to convince a man to do what you want without letting him know that you’re doing it. Make him think that what you want is what he wants.”

Dylan wasn’t having it.

He’d seen behind the curtain… ignored passive-aggressive behavior… watched her try to associate herself with things he liked, trying to create triangular desire. Triangles were best left to geometry, he thought. The subliminal was useless with someone who perceived everything head-on.

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Here We Are Now, the sequel to Ticket to Ride

I’m considering publishing the sequel to Ticket to Ride, right here on my blog. One chapter each week for 25 weeks or so. At the moment, I have only half that many chapters in varying stages of development. My doing this is in the interest of giving myself a deadline (something I don’t seem capable of doing internally because I’m a horrible procrastinator). I’m hoping this might get me motivated to finish Here We Are Now. And yes, that means I’m planning on giving it away to anyone interested.

But as I said, at the moment, it’s just a thought. However if I decide to proceed it will likely begin this coming week; maybe Wednesday or Thursday.

Thank you to all who have continued to frequent my blog, I appreciate you stopping by. See ya next time.

– Philip

The Jungle (rewind) – Ventura, California’s “Hobo Jungle”


the jungle

Intro to The Jungle:

My best explanation for this piece is that Ventura, California has it’s own version of Steinbeck’s Cannery Row just to the north of town.

The Jungle

by philip scott wikel

On the ragged, sandy, and windswept edge of a town at one time immersed in oil, is a swath of land that, from a distance, seems just a river bottom. It’s framed on its northern border by a trestle bridge, on one side by a levee, on the other side, by a stand of dubious eucalyptus and tattered Monterey pines. A sandspit beach serves as its Southern border and, in summer, when the flow of the river is low, a lagoon encompasses one-eigth to one-third of the entire area of what many of the locals call “Hobo Jungle.” The jungle is home to ducks, cormorants, sandpipers, pelicans, squirrels, stray cats and a dozen or so human-beings. You don’t often see the human inhabitants of this mini paradise as they are, for the most part, hidden from sight by the tall Arundo donax that grows like wildfire, an unwelcome, reedy, intruder in a sensitive habitat of saltbush, narrow leaf cattail, and California bulrush. Hidden works two ways in this case; as safe refuge for those not wishing to be seen and, as a veil, for those who would rather not see them.

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Quite Anecdotally – 1st Anniversary of 9/11

Quite Anecdotally (previously published on September 11th, 2002 on the 1st Anniversary of the attack)

by philip scott wikel

As a 7-year-old child in upstate New York I looked forward, with great anticipation, to the week I would spend with my grandparents in Yonkers. It was a slice of summertime Americana wherein my grandfather would invariably take my brother and I to a Mets game, or maybe the Empire State building, and once, if memory serves, we were even treated to a double-header at Shea Stadium where I first heard the word “mezzanine” and where, across the street, stood a metal sculpture of the world.

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Dylan Knows the Truth

by philip scott wikel

After church on Sunday I decided to surprise my son with a trip to some tidepools up around Carpinteria. I was a little wary of telling him where we were going because I had agreed with him the day before that we would go to Target to get a new game for his Playstation. I was worried that once he got his new game there would be nothing else in the world to him and that a trip to the beach to look at crabs and starfish would pale, profoundly, by comparison.

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