Luke the Drifter, a comeuppance and Tom Robbins calls it quits…

Leave a comment

 

 

Art is subjective and the first subject is the soul of the artist.

I recently watched I Saw The Light, a Hank Williams biopic starring Loki and the Red Witch.  Old Hank was a lyrical genius with more than his share of inspiration and damnation.  He put it out there and out there and still it wasn’t enough to allow him the thing all artists crave.

Connection.

Connection with others.  Connection with the world at large.  Connection with an understanding of their own psyche.  When filled with the emptiness of lonesome, any connection will do; alcohol, drugs, sex, food, money, power, fame, failure.  Connection.

I spent time in Alabama this week.  Hank’s home state.  I had connection on the brain when I pulled in Sunday night and kept it there all week.

He wrote from the heart.  Quickly, without much editing and without much regret.  His alter ego, Luke The Drifter, carried the weight of his more soul-searching work, but Hank was the canvas of Luke’s art.  He was a tormented soul yearning to break out and be free.

Let’s regroup….

I pulled into Alabama thinking of Hank and my writing and the unspoken reality that connecting with others has never been easy for me.  Does it look easy?  Sure.  I learned to use humor years ago to impress, deflect, entertain, flirt and distract as I saw fit.  A manipulative skill but one that leaves them laughing and wanting more…

My own art is suffering from a plague of mediocrity that only I will openly admit.  Others won’t for fear of hurting my feelings or disrupting a friendship etc.  Craig S. stands out on this topic for his brutal honesty.  But, as a Man dealing in reality, he is as honest with Me about Me as he is about Himself.  This makes his criticisms constructive, reasonable and easy to swallow.

I started this years ago because I had this Tom Robbins inspired notion of writing 500 words per day, no matter what.  Broadcasting to the world seemed to satisfy two criteria:  Engage an audience, receive feedback.

Both failed.

So now is the time to rethink this entire pile and focus on turning mediocrity into something that is not mediocrity.

I hit Alabama by reaching out to writer friends about editors/publishers and the writing community at large.  I never really considered myself a writing group type of guy.  I don’t even know what genre is fitting for my writing.  I just write the words in my head and let them go.  Full disclosure:  I’ve never edited any story on this page.  100% of what is presented was written directly into the blog and only after the fact was it saved.  Including the Romeos stories.

You deserve better.

I deserve better.

My characters deserve better.

My soul deserves better.

To that end, no more stories will appear here.  I’m engaging an editor and moving in the direction of publication and becoming a serious, if underrated, underpaid and unknown, writer.

My last story, Purpose, was written in the San Antonio airport after reading three pages of Notes from the Underground.  What if the people we think of as having Special Needs were able to think clearly, perhaps more clearly than us, and were using our ignorance and compassion to fulfill their goals.  Be they good, evil or indifferent.

++++++++++++++++++++

Back to ranting then.

I could rant for hours about a limitless number of topics.  The desire to express one’s self, so necessary for artist, makes me a boorish snob at dinner parties, a know-it-all ass successful in self-aggrandizement others can only envy.  I’m fun to drink with, tough to get close to and unforgettable for reasons I forget.  I admire Bukowski because he shuns admiration and love Kerouac because he needs it.  Palaniuk is my favorite modern writer.  His writing, satire, wit and intelligence is unrivaled in this Stephanie Myers world.

I often think I should disappear to a remote island.  Indulge in my alcoholic dreams, consume Rum and write a memoir no one will read.  But the truth is I would end up sunburned, arrested and my memoir would consist of two paragraphs about railroads, midgets and the smell of Schlitz.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Trump and Hillary are symptoms of the same disease.  We’ve spent decades accepting the lesser of two evils.  Now we have nothing but evil to choose from and, ye gods, we double-down on this fact.

We have to take sides.  If you’re Liberal, you’re a Libtard.  If you’re Conservative, you’re a KKKonservative.  If you’re pro-Black, you’re anti-White.  If you’re pro-Cop, you’re anti-Black.  If you’re pro-White, you’re the KKK.  The Hispanics show up in here somewhere but seem to have the sense to recuse themselves for the most part.  You’re either pro-Gun or a Socialist.  You’re either a Socialist or bible thumping gay-hater stuck in an all-White past.  If you disagree with Me, you’re a Communist.  If I disagree with you, I’m a Fox News watching Zombie who should be mocked.  You’re either forever Rich or forever Poor.  Pick a side God-Damn you!  If you don’t repost that video about a Black kid getting killed, you’re a bigot and part of the problem.  If you don’t repost that video about a Cop being killed by a Black kid, then you’re not American.  You must fly Old Glory just above your Don’t Tread On Me Banner or you’re some sort of commie-fucker and probably love Obama.

We…that means YOU and I…encourage, support, promote, reblog, repost, share, LIKE, Retweet, Comment and otherwise ENDORSE the very DIVISION we lament…

We the people, have created a less perfect Union which divides us along superficial, political borders…

We ask our kids to pick sides and then wonder why our country is divided.  Being Conservative doesn’t make you anti-Gay anymore than being Liberal makes you anti-White.  Plug in any names/agendas/topics  you wish in that sentence and it makes just as little as sense as the original.

We’ve let our Politics decide our Principles instead of our Principles deciding our Politics.

I think most people view their own lives as a Conservative and the lives of their neighbors as a Liberal.  I know I do.  I don’t care what you do, at all.  Just don’t ask me to pay for it.  I’ll stay out of your bedroom and take my wallet when I leave.   The Ten Commandments at a courthouse don’t bother me because I don’t feel as if my government is forcing me into Christianity anymore than their Speed Limit sign tricks me into going 55…

I believe that most people are Libertarians.  They just don’t understand Libertarians-so they naturally are apprehensive-and the media/education system has convinced them it is some sort of no holds barred Anarchy.  The Sheep count themselves to sleep…

Think of it this way.  Fiscally conservative, socially liberal.  That sounds like most everyone I know…

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

I’ve been reading Seneca, Letters from a Stoic.

Try it.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

As always,

John.

 

 

The Battle Royal, Bring out your Tonto and thank them for Keats being on your side…

Leave a comment

2016 is a Nineties sort of year already.  Words come like porn stars as the music of Depeche Mode, The Cure and the ever-present They Might Be Giants dance in my head.  I picked up a Grateful Dead CD (Compact-Disc) to quell the pain of stylistic sorrow losing its posh status.  But no.  The friend of the devil still thinks I should play Depeche Mode when I write now.

Write? I thought he quit.  I thought all that was some shit he did back in Virginia and now his life was one ridiculous Facebook post after another and odd photos he quickly deletes lest the censors pick up on his rather Un-American tendency to change his mind? He’ll never be famous but fuck he’s kinda’ funny and back in the day we had a blast…

The battle now is over first person v third person and how to find a technical/developmental editor in South Louisiana who doesn’t want another story about chasing chickens, Gators and the beauty of a swampy sunrise.

-Here I admit that sunrise over Henderson Swamp is probably the cause of several Basin Bridge deaths per year but goes unreported because the cops can’t really blame someone for wanting to die with that view-

First person is so easy but gives one a pass.  I can’t know what everyone is thinking and feeling and it provides a plot-driven aspect, yes?  Third person is dangerous, for me.  If I know what everyone is thinking, feeling, fearing, wondering, hoping and dreaming then the reader sees me in every thought, feeling, wonder, hope and dream.  Third person reveals more than First.  It shows the writer.  I think most people avoid art because it exposes them to the world.  Makes them feel weak, vulnerable and frail.

I get tired of strong, sarcastic and tough.  You can only be leaned upon so much  before you long for the cracking.

+++++++++++++++

Much has transpired since I last entertained myself with hearing my voice tell my hands what to say knowing others would have their mind tell their ears the same words.  Writing is the only magic worth the price of admission.

=====================

The Smiths blare…

So I broke into the Palace
With a sponge and a rusty spanner
She said: “Eh, I know you, and you cannot sing”
I said: “that’s nothing – you should hear me play piano”

…in my ear and yes, I know they’re more an 80s band but Jiminy Christmas I listened to them in the 90s!

===================

Donald Trump:  What the hell?

++++++++++++++++++

I love the posts about Native Americans, Illegal Immigration and White fuckers.  BTW, Columbus never landed in North America so quit blaming his non-navigating ass for stuff people did 100 years after he went buh-buh.

But back to Tonto.  If you’re against illegal immigration some one is going to bring up the Native Americans. Which makes no sense.

If Europeans were “Illegal Immigrants” (I view them as invaders, different, yes?) and the Native Americans suffered at the hands of Illegal Immigration then you must either be A.) In favor of cutting out Illegal Immigration or B.) In favor of wiping out people based on race, ethnicity, culture etc.  If the Europeans screwed the Native American by immigrating illegally to the “New World” then Illegal Immigration is a bad thing and can’t be justified by saying, “Well, you did it.”

1.) I didn’t do it.  Neither did you.

2.) If it was wrong to show up uninvited 400 years ago and fuck things up, how is it Okay now?

3.) I’m rambling and the wine shames me and shines me.

========================================

One more.

Universal this and that requires something most people in favor of universal this and that never think on…limitations.

If you provide an universal service (unlimited supply) then you have to qualify people (limited demand).  If you don’t provide universal service (limited supply) then you have unsatisfied people (unlimited demand)

The market does this through price mechanisms, natural resources and the tendency for old fucks like me to be judgmental and more than a bit vain.  Socialism, as practiced in Europe, does this via limited Demand.  Immigration.  Observe the immigration policies of the “First World Nations” of socialist-leaning Europe.  Then observe ours.  Now look at theirs again. Now look at ours.  How long do you think the Swedes would put up with demonstrations by Illegal Immigrants about their Rights?

I ain’t arguing the instability of the system you propose, rather, I’m making sure you understand the thing your Right hand is protesting against is required to satisfy what your Left hand is begging for….

We all have small minds but still they must be made up of decisions in order to work correctly.

{First World/Third World is bullshit political-class speak for “We’re better than you or you need us or tsk-tsk-tsk, thing aren’t going your way are they.”  I hate those phrases in general.  Racism and sexism are subsets of elitism with physicality as qualifiers.}

===========================

Ah, the Cemetery Gates pull me back in…

============================

I started a blog once about personal finance.  In keeping with the fine tradition of telling others how to live, I was broke at the time.  The blog did well.  Except for “Boardwalk Furries” (26,354 unique readers to date), the finance blog was doing better than this blasphemy ever attempted.  Then I noticed all the readers were from Venezuela, Brazil and some small dot of camel spit in the Middle East.  I checked out the “View your page” section only to find it covered with ads, spam and nefarious pornography the likes of which caused me to lose interest in eating carrots for a month…. I deleted the blog and returned to confines of this rambling for the foreseeable future.

===================================

I used to wonder how people picked a favorite team for this n that.  I go for the Bears because my old man did and a good portion of my family still lives in the Chicago area.  But that is a product of someone else’s life, yes?  Someone else decided for me.  I think this happens to a bunch of fans of this n that.  Dad rooted for them, I’m from here, etc, .  I realized recently I’m becoming a bit of a Saints fan.  I think rooting for them during the second of two losing seasons builds a little street cred.  My son, Alex, will only watch football if the LSU Tigers are playing and he’s wearing his purple n’gold hat.  He’s from here.  I can’t stop that and a part of me doesn’t want to.  I like the idea of my Son being from someplace different than his Father.  Seems a family tradition…

====================================

Getting to see Buddy Guy again with some good friends. That’s a story in itself.

====================================

Wherever you are, whoever you are, whatever you think…you have a story.

Go write it in words or painting or music or work or the family you create or the words you speak tomorrow to a random stranger who needs to hear it.  Tell your story.  It is a good story.

=======================================

Strangers are the most trustworthy people.  They never bring drama, never gossip about you and will never tell your Mother how much you cuss.

=======================================

All men have secrets and here is mine
So let it be known
For we have been through hell and high tide
I can surely rely on you …
And yet you start to recoil
Heavy words are so lightly thrown
But still I’d leap in front of a flying bullet for you

Not only cool writing but one of the best guitar intros out there.

What difference does it make?  The Smiths.

========================================

Indeed, what difference at all?

========================================

Read Jose Saramago….

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

-John.

Writing through the Dream, T.C.’s old joke and the music we should all hear.

Leave a comment

You write the piece long before the title appears.  Right here I should insert some contemporary or classic literary reference but to be honest I haven’t read that many good books.  Well, I’ve read them but I can’t remember shit because I really think a good book leaves with you an emotional note more than a quote.  Who gives a damn if Fitzgerald used way too many, very, very over-used adverbs in describing most everything when your finish, IF you finish, you sincerely wish that someone would really, really keep telling the very, very interesting story?  How many sentence fragments does Cormac McCarthy use when telling us about some Kid hellbent on violence or what an apocalypse looks like when pushing a grocery cart?  Honestly.  Plus, classic literature sucks.  How many times does Dickens have to tell you Marley is dead before you understand?  He wrote well for his time, but for all time?  Not so much.  Great plot, horrible writing.

Here I am drinking and listening to Johnny Cash and wondering where this fiction addiction will lead.  Hellfire, I don’t know.  I just find myself writing whatever crazy shit I come up with and losing myself in the process.  Writing is a lot like using drugs; you don’t know where it’s going and it is probably bad for you…but still…it’s a lot of fun.

________________________________________________

Gaines lives down here.  Hell, he teaches at The University of Louisiana, Lafayette and if I were a stalker-type I’d long since shown up at his door begging for inspiration.  I don’t see the need in grovelling at his groovy feet asking for inspiration.  Besides, he’d probably call the cops once he found out I was a Conservative. 

____________________________________

Ugly mess, politics.  Everyone clamors for their rights, their shares, their pieces of eight from the booty haul of the American Dream but Truth be told, it ain’t so Buster.  The American Dream was a con script from jump based on Marketing needs and the want of some guy named Levi in selling sub-divisions to returning G.I.s.   I can speak my mind, I can show to any Church on Sunday and I can expect to be left the hell alone on my property; that’s the American Dream, if you ask me.  All this Mojo about an attack on said Dream, or continuation of said Dream is more Marketing.  Look at it this way…Politicians get their chubbies by promising goodies to the masses.  The masses, woefully uninvolved in their own Dreams, believe what the Politicians say…The DREAM is under Attack.  or, THE DREAM is REAL..  Either way, you’re a sucker about to swallow a load that just plain tastes gross.  The Constitution, for the most part, is damn hard to over turn.  Let it go.  Quit voting your fears and vote your brain.  Seriously.

—————————————————————————-

I’m Homophobic.  No doubt.  Think about what those guys do to themselves…for FUN.  Honestly, I get skittish thinking about a doctor’s visit now that I’m over Forty.  Those guys do such things for enjoyment.  That’s toughness.  Damn right I’m Homophobic…one of those guys could probably kick my ass all over creation without a thought.  Homosexuality…that’s T0ugh.

__________________________________________________

I don’t know who Honey Boo-Boo is…

_________________________________________________

I began this story about a kid who wakes up at his own funeral.  There…you know all I know now.

_________________________________________________

For anyone coming across this blog by mistake, I say again: Writer’s Block doesn’t exist.  Like Mid-Life Crisis, it’s an excuse based on Fear and Laziness.  Get over it.  Not every word you write will be good.  Just write it.  Wait six months.  Come back to it.  Then decide what to do with it.  You aren’t God and you aren’t whoever your favorite writer is….hell, your favorite writer isn’t your favorite writer.  They’re just some person who stuck it out through the FEAR.

________________________________________________\

Back in the Army this guy used to tell everyone that the key to a large Manly Member was to rub Lard on it every day.

Some kid took his advice.  Every day for weeks, this kid rubbed his Happy Spot hoping for an increase in his bounty.  Nothing. In Truth, his Manliness grew smaller during the process….

After several weeks, the kid confronted the soothsayer of all things lengthy….

You said I would see some increase if I rubbed it each day.

True Dat my friend.  You used Lard every day?

Lard? Well, they didn’t have that…I used Crisco.

Dumbass, Crisco is a SHORTENING….

____________________________________________________________________________-

Get drunk, listen to the Blues and get back to me.

Boudin, Wolves and fringe inspiration…

2 Comments

Buddy Guy was born here. Bonnie and Clyde died here. I just showed up looking for a job. South Louisiana, Lafayette to be exact. Like most folks all I knew of the area was that show about killing Gators. So far, the only Gator I’ve seen was in a Zoo, asleep. I came from where the South ends to where the West begins. The Mississippi is about 40 minutes east, just over the Basin Bridge. I’ve met Dick Dale, drank on the piss-lined street dubbed Bourbon, and ate Fried Gator and Boudin. That last word is ‘Boo-Dan’ with a slight dropping of the last syllable to sound Broken French instead of out-of-town. My hotel room was attacked by a nutjob cleaning his unregistered handgun, I wrecked a company vehicle on my 42nd birthday, and I bought my first home. I finally got to see the Gulf of Mexico and in a few weeks will be revisiting that area (Gulfport, MS) to see an old Army friend. Everything has its ups and downs, every place has its drawbacks. But I like the weather, most of the people are friendly enough to leave me alone, and my family is growing to enjoy the time here.
———–

I still write though will admit to falling prey to fear after one story was published. It was no big deal. I think about six people read the damn thing on the publishing website, but still. Something about it jolted me from the What If? into the What Now?

————

I don’t really care that Hugo Chavez would vote for Obama given the chance. What bothers me is that most folks voting for Obama have no idea who Hugo Chavez is or what his support indicates…

————-

I’ve tried to order a case of ATLAS beer from the distributor in Panama. So far no luck. Even with the help of Google Translator I can’t seem to convince the Panamanians that such libations are necessary for serious work to continue on the novel, ROMEOS. One can’t simply write about talking monkeys and NyQuil addiction while drinking any old import.

————–

Nothing as informative as standing behind a 1,000 pound white guy who is buying Doritos with Food Stamps and realizing that your displeasure with such fraud and abuse is classified as Racism. It’s called transference. A Thief tells you everyone steals. I know not everyone on Welfare is Black or Hispanic. You know it as well. So why is it everytime someone talks about Welfare Reform it is twisted into “Racism”? Could it be that those who cry foul are the only ones assuming all Welfare Reform is designed to hurt Minorities because, “well, you know…who else is getting it?” The School System screws over Minorities, the Welfare System screws over Minorities but every attempt to correct the actions of those running those Systems (since their inception!) are declared Racist by the people running those Systems…Why? Could it be the Wolves in Sheep’s clothing are simply calling everyone else a Wolf?

——————-

A muted midget and a retired fat lady from a circus. They bounced out of a story about a kid named Eugene. I never really liked the story but couldn’t get it out of my head until I wrote it out. Now, a year or so later, all I remember is the retired fat lady and the circus bills she had posted on her walls. The crowning achievement of her life was being a freak.

Isn’t that the story of every interesting person? The pinnacle of glory is acceptance of your fringe status.

——————-

You ever move to the deep South and miss Cold Weather? Yep, me neither…I tickle me.

——————-

Be your own Best Friend.

Anime Heart Attacks, Smoking Logic, and the perpetual search for an Emerald Sea.

1 Comment

Another call to Human Resources about your errant blogger.

Apparently telling your employees, “I’m deaf in one ear and don’t give a shit with the other.” is not a proper response when they ask for yet another day off to watch cartoons and get off to anime porn. Kids these days…

………….

I’ve listened to Paul Simon lately. Once you get past the fact he sounds like a 10-year-old boy who knows a few African singers, his music is groovy.

…………

A guy at work had a heart attack. They put in four stints, told him to quit smoking and cut back on the bacon cheeseburgers. We took up a collection to help buy him smokes and a gift card to McDonald’s. He’s not all that popular at work.

…………

In the War on Poverty, you don’t always get to choose the battlefield.

…………

I spent much of 2011 thinking about things that don’t matter. Funny how all the things don’t matter manage to convince us that they do matter. Worry is a snake oil salesman promising to cure our worries by selling us more worry.
Is a self-fulfilling Ouroborus redundancy a bit repetitive?

…………

It ended at Christmas. I was given a book entitled Quit your Job & Move to Key West . I’ve never been to Key West but as a fan of warm weather, Rum, and travel it’s always held a strong appeal to me. I received the book from an Aunt who visits there often and intends on retiring in the Conch Republic as soon as possible. How I got from reading that book to writing again is a mystery to me now. Perhaps it was a reminder of the world outside of my meeting the turn of the calendar. All that resolution jazz never sounded good to me. But I probably picked up some of the new year mojo while thinking about all the things I’ve yet to do. Back to the Bucket List and all…
Either way. I like the book, plan to visit The Rock, and found myself remembering that old Duffy likes to write fiction as a way of dealing with facts.

………..

The renewal of one’s self within the world is necessary because pushing to be ourselves is often overwhelmed by the pull to be someone else. Someone more responsible, more respectable, more efficient, more generous, move giving…or less of all those things. This may be why a million people will brave the cold to watch a stupid ball drop.
A collective, “LET ME BE ME THIS YEAR!”

……….

I had this idea once for a novel with a soundtrack. Every chapter he title is also a song that could/should be listened to while reading the chapter. A chapter titled, “Stairway to Heaven” for example in which the action builds slowly up to a loud climax descending into a moment of realization for the character. Movies have soundtracks, why not novels?

………..

TV commercials that encourage kids to turn off the TV and go outside are as silly as using tobacco taxes to pay for cancer treatment. If little Joey turns off the TV he might forget why and turn it back on for guidance. He misses the commercial and boom! he’s back to eating Doritos and wondering why Mommy doesn’t love Daddy. Tobacco Taxes. The number of people now smoking impacts future cancer treatment needs but only pays for current treatments.
As people quit smoking NOW, they’ll be less money NOW and in the Future to pay for cancer treatments. If I smoke for 20 years and then stop I stop paying the Sin Tax even though I’ll probably still have some cancer issues later…
So which does the government want?
Do they want people to keep smoking so they can collect Sin Taxes to pay for Sins?
Or do they want people to quit smoking and thus leave the system bankrupt so the “non-Sinner” can pay more “non-Sin Taxes” to cover treatment for the Born Again Sinner?

This is what happens when Government attempts to divide folks up into Sinners and Non-Sinners.

………….

A woman in Colorado died when she ran a stop light and T-boned another vehicle. When investigating the accident the police found she sent a text message about 30 seconds before the stoplight camera saw her cross the intersection. The text message said, “Kewl.” and was sent to her 13-year-old son.

If you’re not smart enough to realize a text message is not more important than staying alive, at least have the sense to make sure you hit spell check.
If only for the children’s sake.
Learn to spell.

………..

Well, I never cared much for money
And money never cared for me
I was more like a landlocked sailor
Searching for the emerald sea
Just searching for the emerald sea, boys
Searching for the sea

-That’s Me, Paul Simon

…………..

Emilio Jones.

Leave a comment

Henry Blank followed a path so generalized it escapes a description. He stood before his bay window, gazing into his manicured backyard noticing nothing at all. No birds sang for Henry Blank. No clouds puffed by in the wake of a summer breeze. Today was the big day. The announcement to end all announcements. Henry Blank was running for Mayor of Mahalia. The members of the Upper Mahalia Bridge Society had worked their magic until even Henry believed he was Mahalia’s only shot at municipal redemption. The night before he had informed Renee.

–I’m running for Mayor.
–What?
–You never listen to me.
–You never say much.
Henry flipped the channel over to Leno.
–Mayor of Mahalia, if you wondered.
–I didn’t wonder. I knew. I heard from Linda.
–Linda talks too much.
–Yes, you do.
–The boys down at the club say I’m a shoe in.
–Dirty socks and feet wind up in shoes.

He got up and went to the bathroom. Renee hit mute on the remote and followed her daydream through the hallway and out into the street. Henry came back.

–Why can’t you support just one thing I do?
–I should’ve stopped at just one thing.

He stared at her and picked up the remote. He threw it back on the table, climbed into bed and flicked the lamp off. Linda sat in the bed staring at darkness.

Henry heard the percolator’s final gurgle. He poured his imported Jamaican coffee into his travel mug. The mug was an award from the Ruritans for perfect attendance, 2004. They bought the two-story Victorian from a friend in the Society. When they first walked in, Henry fell in love with the giant bay windows facing the back yard, front yard, and one facing each side yard. Many mornings and evenings, he stood before the windows. He never noticed much, but loved the idea of everyone seeing him standing there. A regal observer of the neighborhood and, through implication, nearly all Mahalia.

–Henry! You still here?
Renee called down the stairs.
Henry thought of ducking out the patio door and slipping around to his car.
–Henry! Answer me dammit.
–Just about to leave. What the hell you want?
Her words became muffled as she replied.
–What? Spent? Speak clearly.
He moved towards the front door, away from the stairs.
–What the hell is that tent?
Renee’s voice was higher than normal. Henry remembered that was how she sounded when worried.
–What tent?
–The yellow tent in the back yard. Don’t tell me you didn’t see it this morning.

Henry stopped mid-sip and walked back to the bay window facing the back yard. His gray, sagging eyes squinted as he surveyed the 3 acres of landscaped perfection. He scanned the cherry trees in the east, the gently used work shed to the west and then settled in on the offender.

A stained, yellow tent sat in the middle of the yard. Henry could make out the tip of a large, brown sleeping bag exiting the unzipped door. Makeshift clothes lines were on both sides of the entrance. From nearly a hundred feet away Henry thought he could smell the tent and its trespassing occupant. Henry went for the patio door and upon sliding it open yelled.

–Renee call 911. Tell them hurry the hell up!
He heard Renee run down the steps. Henry marched into his yard, dropping his punctual coffee mug.
–What the hell are you doing in there? Wake up you worthless bum! Get off my lawn. Get that damn…
Henry stopped as the sleeping bag began to move. His girth caused him to breathe heavy as long, dirty hands grip the sleeping bag’s feet.

A man emerged from the tent. His equine face, centered by a twice broken Roman nose, appeared covered in slimy dirt and flanked by depressed cheeks. Henry looked at the man. The man looked at Henry. The man grinned at Henry violently, as if waiting for a moment to pounce. Or run. Or speak. Henry couldn’t read anything in the man’s movements or posture displaying fear or courage. Softly the man’s clear green eyes twinkled. He opened his chapped lips.

–Henry Blank, I presume?
–Who the hell are you? What are you doing here? Get off my lawn, you, you, bum. Miscreant.
–Miscreant? Sort of a big word for you ain’t it Henry?
–How do you know my name? Are you some stalker? My wife has called the police already. You’ll be locked up…
–Renee.
–…as soon as they… What? How do you know her name?

The man moved quickly back into the tent and reemerged before Henry could move a step. The man held a stack of newspapers.

–See Henry Blank. In my line of work, a man has lots of time to read, but often not a plug nickel for which to buy a book. So I do what I can to keep abreast of all the comings and goings via newspapers. You read the papers Henry?
–Of course, every good citizen should read…wait…get the hell out of here!
–Well then Henry you’ll appreciate an avid fan of your editorial-type letters you send in on occasion.
–Thank you. Yes. I do on occasion write a piece for Clay down at the Harold. We’re old friends…

The man shuffled through the papers letting some fall to the ground.

–Ah!
His voice echoed. Henry became aware of his neighbors as the man’s voice died in the still morning air. He became aware of sirens in the distance.
–Ah! Here it is. July 13, 2002. Mahalia Herald. Page 4, letter 3, sentence 11. I’ve underlined it Henry Blank. Care to read your own words in your own yard as I stand here with this tent?

–I don’t know what you mean…I don’t recall.
–Oh you wrote it Henry Blank. Here, I’ll save you the trouble, but none of…well, the embarrassment.
–A good citizen is never embarrassed by their own opinion, particular one as well-conceived as my own. You know I’m running for Mayor because of my well-conceived…
–I know. I heard. People talk when nobody is listening. I’m nobody. I heard already. Ready for me to read aloud? Good, Ok.
–The police are almost here, you need to remove yourself or I’ll press…

–It is my considered opinion that the problem can be solved by an understanding by all good citizens that we must open up our borders to these people to display our compassion and generosity to our fellow-man. We must destroy that infernal fence! I dare say the only thing for a good citizen to believe is that one’s property is the property of all mankind and that our claim, as it is called by those simple-minded among us, to property is nothing more than a tool of the greedy and shameless.

The man stopped reading.

–You remember writing that Henry Blank?
–Vaguely. Yes.
–You hear those police sirens Henry?
–Of course I do.
–Running for Mayor are you Henry?
–Yes. The announcement is today.

The man’s eyes danced in their sockets.

–Well, we have an impasse don’t we Henry Blank?
–How so?
–Never very bright were you? To put it plain. Do you want the entire town to think of you as the Mayoral candidate who shunned a homeless Man in his time of need. The candidate who, despite his many well-received, and well-conceived editorial type letters, turned his back on his fellow Man out of sheer greed and shamelessness?

–I don’t think this is exactly as everyone will see it.
Henry felt his face go flush as the man smile even broader.
–Ok. Send in the bulls, kick me to the curb where scum like me belong and continue impressing folks down at the Upper Mahalia Bridge Society with your generosity.
–That’s some sort of blackmail, you bastard.
–Only if it works. And I suspect it’s working pretty damn good.
–Who are you?
–I’m you, ten years from now or me ten years ago. Not sure yet…
–What?
–Emilio. Emilio Jones, professional squatter and all around ladies’ man.

Bisbee shame, furry love, and finding the Chicken House…

2 Comments

In November 2010 I posted a blog entitled “Boardwalk Furries”.

To date it is the most popular blog posting I’ve created. It relates our encounter with a group of folks who get their jollies dressing up like stuffed animals and hanging out. They also ‘yiff’, which is what furries do when bumping uglies.

Judging by the topic’s popularity, perhaps I should write about pseudo-sexual deviance on display at oceanfront locales more often. Think of the ratings.

>>>>>>>>>>

A couple of friends on Facebook have shamed me over my experiences in Arizona. It’s actually my lack of experiences that is the shameful part. While stationed in Ft. Huachuca, I failed to visit a town called Bisbee. I actually failed to visit most of Arizona although I made a day trip once to Tuscon. Through WordPress I met a person from Bisbee–Find an Outlet–who is an interesting representative of an intriguing place. Check out her blog.

But what all the shaming reminds me is that we should explore the world around us, regardless of where in the World we are. I’ve a paltry collection of photos, writings, and memorabilia from the places I traveled back in the day. I recall spending much of my time pissed with myself for winding up in places where I knew no one and no thing about my environment. Instead of learning like a grown up, I cowered like a child. I stayed in my room, listened to my cassettes from high school and wrote boring letters back home. Blech.

But what’s done is dinner and I refuse to play with my food.

I learned that lesson years ago. Funny how the reminder came back through a few pictures of a town I’ve never visited.

Explore your world, wherever you are.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

A man came in the office the other day asking for the manager. Sadly, that’s me. He sat in my office and requested a tour of the facility in addition to asking me many questions. He was an older man with scuffed boots and blue work pants with a red handkerchief peeping out of his back pocket.

I asked why he was interested.

“My family owned the land that this place is on. I grew up on this land.”

Over the years, he’d driven by many times.

“Just to look, ya know. See what was happening on the old homestead.”

I gave him a tour and told him as much about our company as legal. We were standing on the dock. I was rattling off bullshit a pound per minute, trying to convince the man how much good a milk company can do. The nutritious aspect of what we sell. The thousands of pounds of dairy products donated to local Food Banks. He smiled and looked around.

We walked around the back lot.

“I think this is where the chicken house was…I guess. Hard to tell.”

We made it back downstairs to the coffee pot. By now, he was rattling off and I was smiling. His Daddy was a dirt farmer who worked in Richmond at what was the Lucky Strike plant. He and his siblings worked the farm; mornings, evenings, summers, weekends, whenever. He said he couldn’t remember how many times they ate meat at a meal. Somewhere around once or twice a month. The rest of the time it was beans, cornbread, or whatever Mama could boil over the fire. There were Eleven brothers & sisters.
One brother died young. I could tell by the way he said it, he’d never talked much about it. The words just fell out of his mouth.

As he was leaving I explained the gate would open up automatically, as his car got near it.

“Mama never wanted to sell it. Developers just gave her too much money after Daddy died. Now she’s gone. Me and one sister up in Maryland is all that’s left.”

“I’m sorry to hear that.”

He smiled. “Yep. Let me go see your fancy gate. Thanks for your time.”

>>>>>>>>>>>>

A television is a handy piece of furniture when your bookshelf is full and you need to put a book down someplace.

Other than that, it’s mostly useless.

>>>>>>>>>>>

Go Bears…

>>>>>>>>>>

Older Entries