Serena Dank

Back in the early part of 1982, maybe late 1981, there was a woman making headlines. Her mug was on every talk show, and her quotes were splattered across pages of many woman’s magazines. Her name was Serena Dank. She founded some exploitive group called Parents Against Punkers. Between Flipside, Maximum Rock and Roll, and We Got Power, Serena received tons of hate mail, rude cartoons, and overall vile comments.

Her goal was to sort of re-program punk kids into law-abiding preppies. But her argument was that punks were absolutely everything that was wrong with society. What blew about this was, like every group, there were some bad apples, but, every punk I knew was trying to make something of themselves.

None of Serena Danks’ ranting bothered me much. I felt I was under the radar enough to be immune. And I was for a minute, then at the age of 15 or 16, my mom and I would fight every time we would leave the house together. I wanted my leather jacket and 5 minutes to spike my hair. I was young, and mom took it way too serious.

So, she signed the family up for therapy. I went for about three months, the shrink was always trying to get me to come with my hair spiked, but for some reason, this embarrassed me, and I wouldn’t do it.

After a few sessions with my mom and me together, the shrink told me she thought my mom was over-bearing, I really didn’t know what this meant, so I said, “Cool.” And thought nothing more about it. Then one day my mom was after me about something or other and I blurted it something along the lines of, “The shrink is right, you are over-bearing.” This flipped my mom out a bit, and she accused me of making this up.

Within a day or so my mom called and canceled all further therapy sessions. It was chalked up to me swaying the shrink to my way of thinking. Kind of using “Hitler-like mind control”. I was accused of this when I was much younger if neighborhood kids liked me, but not my mom so much, I was pulling a “Hitler.”

Anyway, having gone through this I probably won’t care what my kids do with their hair, but then again, I might turn into an old fart and bitch about hair length and color too. But the greatest thing to come out of the therapy was that my brother went on to become a psychologist himself.

#michaelessington #broken


Top 10 Addict Books

Over the years, there have been many books written by and about those that are addicted. These are currently my top ten favorites:

1. Permanent Midnight by Jerry Stahl

2. Basketball Diaries by Jim Carroll

3. Dry by Augusten Burroughs

4. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson

5. Barfly (script) by Charles Bukowski

6. Stark by Edward Bunker

7. Another Day in Paradise by Eddie Little

8. Steel Toes by Eddie Little

9. A Million Little Pieces by James Frey

10. 86’s by Dan Fante

#michaelessington #misconceptionsofhell


Monday night, my son and I went for our evening walk. A few blocks in, we came upon a parking lot of a Mexican restaurant. I didn’t notice right away, but in the middle of the lot was a guy and a girl struggling. It looked like the guy was trying to pull the girl into his van. Without thinking, I took off towards the van. Halfway there I heard my son hot on my trail. I stopped and walked over to the patio of the restaurant.

It dawned on me that I almost made the biggest parental mistake you can make, putting your kid in harm’s way.

So, I pulled out my cell and dialed 911, just as I was about to press the send button, and the older Hispanic man looked over and says, “They play.”

I’m really confused, I say, “What!?”

He says, “They brother and sister. My kids.”

“Oh fuck, I was calling the cops; I was going to kick his ass.”

“Yeah, they play.”

“Oh shit.”

I walk away and then it becomes noticeable that they were playing, the girl is circling the van, and he is laughing. They weren’t doing this in the beginning. They were just wrestling. I would’ve been the nut that came barreling in on their game trying to save her.

The boy and I continued our walk. I looked over at the parking lot and shook my head.

Lucas said, “Try not to think about it.”

Lo and behold, a week later, my wife is driving my son home from school and they pass a park. In the parking lot of the park are a man and a woman fighting. The man, shirtless, torn jeans and a ponytail, has a bat that he is swinging at the woman. The woman, not scared, keeps charging in to fight the guy. As soon as my son sees this, tells my wife to call 911. They make the call. My son then says, “Let’s go get something to eat.” His reasoning is he doesn’t want to stay there and chance him and his mom being injured. They get food, and he suggests they go back and check on the woman.

They drive back and the woman is gone and the police are cuffing the guy with the bat.

My son tells my wife to call me over the Bluetooth to let me know of his Good Samaritan deed. I told him I was very proud of him. I could almost hear his smile. There is some hope for the world still.

#michaelessington #misconceptionsofhell