Friday, November 24, 2017

“Did you see 6’ foot Blond’s post on Tranquil Stream?”

His voice rather than the question jarred me awake.  It wasn’t that I didn’t know who was speaking to me; I’d first heard his voice as a teenager, over a half century ago.  The thing about Leo though, was he could/would, pop in whenever he felt like it, regardless of whatever I happen to be doing.  It had caused some awkward as well as hilarious situations before.  

However, this time it was of no real consequence, other than waking me from my afternoon nap, which I’d been taking after finishing 18 holes on the golf course a few hours ago.

I look around and locate my drink in the cupholder of my lounging chair, noticing that it still had a little ice in it, which surprised me somewhat because I remember the afternoon sun had been quite warm before I’d dropped off into wonderland.  Taking a drink I pick up a half smoked joint in the ashtray, and as I light it, I recall ‘the dream.’

We were getting married.  No, not Pup and I, but me and my second wife.  My Mom was there prattling around, making sure I was dressed properly, (she was always fussing with the way I dressed when I was a kid).  I remember thinking I’d sure like to talk to her since she had died almost five years ago.  I was dressed in black pants of some sort, not levi’s, but exactly what I wasn’t sure, and a nicely starched, button up shirt, brown in color with a black tie.  I remember thinking to myself, ‘why a brown shirt?’  After all, brown is not my favorite color.  

“I’m thinking to myself in the middle of a dream,” I say aloud as I remember the joint in my hand. Taking a deep drag while looking around to make sure no one’s spying on me, I nod at Leo; he’s sitting next to me in a lawn chair.

As usual, in my tiny part of the world, (my enclosed back porch patio) it’s just me, and of course, now Leo.  My ‘miniature’ Bose boom box is playing nearby but the sound is turned low, and although daylight is still strong - I can feel the coolness of the oncoming  desert evening.

I take another hit from the joint and proffer it in Leo’s direction as I get up from my lounger.  I’m looking for my cigar, and thinking how the PC crowd would do a “back-crawling cringe” at Leo’s cigarette, which is dangling from his mouth.  Of course shortly after that they would notice the joint and my cigar, and the gig would be up.  We’d probably be tarred and feathered and run out of town on a rail.  Yeah, I know that’s an old cliche but it’s something I can imagine easily, and actually fits my thought process at the moment.

By now I’m also processing Leo’s ‘wakeup question,’ and even have an answer to give him; but I’ve been too slow.

“You heard me didn’t you?” He says, shifting in his chair and propping a foot on my golf bag.

Before I can answer he says, “What'd you shoot?”

“99.”  I tell him.

“Finally broke a hundred did you?”

“Yeah it was a good day.  What did 6’ blond post anyway?” I finally ask.

“You’re not worried about punctuation today?”

“Nope!” I say forcefully, before continuing - “I decided the other day that if I ever wrote anything again, it was going to be on my terms, screw all the details.”  

As my words reverberate around us - I add - “I’m not worrying about details anymore.”

“You going to dot your i’s and cross your t’s and that’s all?”

“The computer dots my i’s and crosses my t’s; I don’t have to worry about that crap.”

“Interesting.”  He said.

“What did she post?” I ask again.

“A song; “Sound of Silence.”

“Great song.” I said.

Not Simon and Garfunkel’s version though, he said with a shrug, hitting the joint.  Some dude I’ve never heard of - I didn’t care for it.

“And I probably won’t either I tell him as I take a drink, sucking an ice cube into my mouth.”

Chewing the ice I tell him - “but it’s a generational thing you know - she’s a lot younger than us.”

“Nobody can do it like Simon & Garfunkel.” He says.

“Yeah it’s one of those songs that will never sound right sung by anyone else.  Fuck! Even Elvis and Jesus couldn’t do it.”

“You sure use the F-bomb a lot.”

“As if it matters.”  I tell him, before repeating what Dad had always said; “in a hundred years nobody will notice the difference anyway.”  

“Or give a damn for that matter.” I add, putting my own post script to it.

Lighting my cigar I sit down in the lounger, picking up my drink.  I eye the last piece of ice floating in the brown liquid and say -  “Way too many people worried about being PC these days when the truth of the matter is, nobody knows what we’re here for, if there’s even a reason.  The religious crowd have their own particular brand to lean on I guess, and if that helps them, then what does it hurt that they think I’m going to hell for using the F-bomb?”  

We both laugh.

“Why don’t you listen to the song, see if you like it?” He says, smiling.

“I will, later. I say, and then - almost as an afterthought, I say - Every time that song comes up it reminds me of 68, and I don’t like to go there.”

Leo dragged on the joint, passing it back to me, but didn't say anything.  

“It was a wild fucking year.” I say as I retrieve it and take a hit, looking at the sky; the sun was sliding down in the horizon, and it looked to be another spectacular California sunset; one of the reasons I love it here. 

Then, as had been the norm of late, my mind took it on itself - to divide reality into two paths; I took the one less traveled.  

Leo laughed aloud at my thought, and pulled his cap down low, hiding his eyes, but I didn’t need to see his eyes to know he was taking the trip with me, or that he was letting me get away with the Frost comment.


It was July 30, 1968, and I was stationed at Ft. Sam Houston, in San Antonio Texas.  It had been a long hot summer, and although there was still almost a half of the year left - I’d had enough of 1968.  MLK had been killed in February, in early March a childhood friend had drowned in a lake back home, and Bobby Kennedy was killed in San Francisco in June.  The college crowd was rioting almost every day and Vietnam was beginning to crank up really hard.  Just 3 weeks ago we’d learned that my girlfriend’s brother had been killed over there.  

Ironically, in between the time we learned of Carl’s death and the time it took to return his body, I’d gotten orders for Nam myself.  I was to report to Ft. Lewis, Washington in early September.  For now, though, I was packing my shit, getting ready to drive to Oklahoma City for the  funeral.  Carl’s mother had requested that I wear my uniform, and although I didn’t think too much of the idea, I wasn’t going to argue the point.  As for my new assignment; I’d not told anyone - yet.  I’d wait and do that once the funeral was over.

A radio was sitting on my footlocker, a song was beginning to play.  It was Simon and Garfunkel, and although I instantly recognized the song, I’d never heard them do it before. 

It did not get a lot of play then, nor ‘ever’ for that matter, but 6’ blond’s post had reminded me of it.  

“7  O’ clock news/Silent night”

by Simon and Garfunkel
Music from the 60’s





  












Wednesday, October 4, 2017

initial statement

   I always knew I’d come back, just didn’t know how.  Here at the end of the beginning, it seems so natural (already) that I feel no fear, dread, or even a bad premonition.  It is as it should be.

I was lucky (some would say unlucky) to maintain full mental stability, as physically, I declined ever so quickly with each passing year, especially the last few months and weeks.  But my lifelong love of music was so soothing that I was allowed to ignore the state of my ‘wreck of a body,’ and, instead, I was able to fully appreciate one aspect of old age; the ability to (as my father-in-law always said) enjoy my steak, immensely (screw the cholesterol).

Of all the possible conclusions, this one never occurred to me; a slight surprise to an intellect such as mine.  Oh yes, of course, before you point it out - I do admit to a subpar ability to properly compose my thoughts, but that is of no consequence (much like my last cholesterol numbers).  After all, it’s not the initial form upon an arrival, but the impact that follows.

Remarkably, the lack of a physical presence is less alarming than the total absence of time, but upon reflection neither should be (a worry), and aren’t. 

I am cognizant of where I’m at, though unable to explain or define it.  So, once again, a seemingly signifiant event  presents itself, and then slides harmlessly to the side.  Who can find fault with that?






Sunday, August 13, 2017

Free

I’m walking.  

The night of my dreams is dark and empty of stars, as it tries in vain to hide the grayish fog holding my memories. 

Ahead, the old neighborhood appears, familiar houses with dimly lit windows that peer outward, like eyes seeking a meaning.

On the right, Gayla’s house; two story with a recessed porch beneath the upper floor.  It’s fronted by two tiers of flowers, their bright colors strangely out of place amidst the dark shadows.

 I look, but she’s not there.

Instead, I see two men, their identities indistinguishable;  one is holding a cup or perhaps a glass, one or the other has to be my father.

The house appears to be yellow, and with my memory I cannot argue.  A two rail wood fence bordering the sidewalk, offers but feeble protection; the rails, slender and crooked. 

A lone figure walks slowly on the sidewalk ahead; man or woman, does it matter?

The sidewalk, cracked and dirty, is slick from a recent rain, as is the road.  A Dalmatian dog in the front yard, stares expectantly as I brush away the thought of Croatia in my distant mind.

Instead, I remember that once I was a strong man, young and viral.  A pleasant dream for sure, but as to where or even when I existed - nothing -  just that once I did.

A man wearing a hat with an open umbrella over his head, casually walks a dog on a leash, trying to look inconspicuous.  I know the dog from somewhere, but it’s a place I cannot go, a place of terror from a distant past.

But my thoughts are not all irrational; I know the name of the street I’m on, and the town I’m in.  “Apple Avenue,” in the little town of Elmwood Ohio; the place of my birth.

So I go downtown in search of that thing that will lift me free of my old home town.

Just past the library, Andrew’s gift, I come to the Army Enlistment office.  Sergeant Lewis Sanders is leaning from the door, arm out, beckoning me inside.  

I walk past him, determined to not make the same mistake twice.

With each step I know I’ve escaped; I’m free.









Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Part 1
After killing (the act of flipping to the end) the latest “Best Seller” I was reading this afternoon, I decided a trip to the library was needed.  And - then - I changed my mind and decided going to the library would be a colossal waste of my time.

Therefore, I decided to type these words describing what’s on my mind - presently.

Sitting in the cave (my hideaway in my home) I’m smoking some really good weed, drinking diet Mt. Dew laced with “Absolut Vodka,”  while contemplating things.

Btw, I have no illusions about being a ‘writer.’  However, I am a thinker, and my thoughts however put on this white screen, are in no way made inconsequential by my lack of writing proficiency.

Society dictates proper writing anyway, and “society” sucks if you ask me.  Society is responsible for much of what is wrong with us.  Just think about it for a mini-second; What has told us for decades that marijuana is bad for us?  Times up; Answer is; Society

Oh, the punch line?  Yes, Yes, and what do we know today about marijuana?  Times up: Answer is; just put “medical” in front of marijuana; enough said; FULL-STOP.

So, bottom line.  We have spent decades (and millions of dollars) locking people up for smoking weed, while at the same time depriving ourselves of the medical benefits of this natural drug.  Did you notice I said - “natural drug?” 

We have society to thank for that.

There are many, many examples of how society screws us, the marijuana example is just one. 

Part 2

President Trump.  


No words today, except to say I don’t think he will be the POTUS come this Xmas, and if there was a Santa Claus I would be asking him/her for that - for xmas.  Another societal miscarriage of common sense; the invention of Santa Claus.

Friday, March 24, 2017

People Of Earth 

Rotating, spinning, toward ... where?

Nowhere - but - "What a fucking trip!

This world is so upside-down.  

Here we are - millions/trillions of "little insect-like" humans (our name for ourselves) scurrying around, each with our own individual missions - for what?  

Nothing.

Nothing really matters, and like my dear ol dad always said "a hundred years from now - nobody will know the difference."

Those words reverberate in my head as I watch the 'political theater' unraveling in Washington D.C. - and marvel at why humans are so fricking stupid, dumb, vain and arrogant.  

Yeah, no truer words have ever been uttered except perhaps - 'shit happens.'

I've always had a problem with society in general.  Society is that ever changing (slowly though) set of rules that govern us all - based solely on the "will" of those in power, who are usually (but not always) in the majority.  The rest of us are forced to abide by their rules, regardless of whether they are actually right or wrong.  Btw, "Right" is defined as that which is determined by society; everyone else - "SIT DOWN and SHUT UP~!"

But ... sitting down and shutting up doesn't fit with some of us.

In my idle time while postulating to myself about this crap (society) I dream up the 'perfect society type person.'

I will refer to him as he - even though a society rule dictates to be PC (short for Politically Correct) I should refer to my imaginary character as either - "he/she."  But, I don't, so, you will just have to adapt to "my rule" or quit reading, which is entirely your right (according to my rules).

This "perfect society type person" is - a white dude, of average age, height, hair color, attitude, humor, and weight, married with one and a half children (don't ask where the other half is) who goes to church every Sunday morning, prays to his god and throw a buck in the collection plate.  He goes to work on the following Monday, screws everyone to the best of his ability for his own good and comes home to a supper of 'chicken fried steak/green beans' before departing for the ballpark to coach his 8 year old son at the grand sport of "Baseball."  There's more but I'm bored with this description at the moment - so I will round his character out a little more later.

Society has it's fingers in "everything."  You can't go P with out violating a society rule somewhere along your path to the shitter.

We have to write a certain way, capitalize certain words, insert commas, and maker sure all the 'rules' are followed to the T.

But there are 'small, but bright spots,' in the literary landscape.  For example - the proper way to write is going 'off the rails' a little at a time.  If you don't believe me just check out some of the stuff you now see on the internet, misspelled words, words used improperly and a lack of proper placement of periods, commas and so on.  

We can deal with all these dinky things or we can jump to the big point in this piece.

The world is slowly becoming more liberal with each passing minute on the clock.  This is just natural - for when one thinks about it - seriously thinks about it - it's obvious that as time goes on - the thinking of humans revolves around to accepting the inevitable - "nobody gets off the planet alive."  Yeah I know - that's a tired old cliche - but it works.  And, as more and more of us (humans) realize where we're really headed - it's only natural to not give a flying fuck about traditional values.  In fact, I predict that at some point in our future - society will eventually cease to be a word that has any meaning at all.

Society's big problem is - "Society doesn't accept the FACT that we are on a deserted piece of dirt floating through a place we have very little information about and UNTIL we do, we and "what we do and say" won't matter.

Someday - "maybe" our situation will change but for now we just don't make a difference.

Have A Good Day - Paul Harvey!