Years ago, when I lived in Hollywood, I started writing a silly little song about how I missed living near the national forest near Eaton Canyon and couldn't understand the city. I knew I wasn't right for it and missed things like coyotes, raccoons, and even the occasional rattlesnake. Well, I found it and decided to finish it. Not my best work, but hell, it's been years since I wrote anything. I think this was back in late '03 and was the last song I even started writing.
I Just Wanna Go Home
I grew up with oak trees and maples for neighbors
Now I’m stuck in this ant farm surrounded by strangers
Am G D C
This whole modern world’s passing me by.
G C D
Been too many years since I’ve gone fishin’
G C D
And watching the old man never catch a damned thing.
Am C G
Keep your dot com world. I just wanna go home.
Everyone acts like they’ve got it together
A fancy new car and a hundred dollar sweatshirt
Ain’t no seasons, or any real weather
Am D G C D
Only smog and air that tastes just like dirt.
There’s working’ folks living in cramped old apartments.
The rich and the famous have the Hollywood Hills.
Lazy kids swear that they’re all struggling artists.
Am D G C D
Don’t feel happy today? Just take a pill.
Christines health has continued to degrade due to her own stubbornness and I'm about at the end of my rope. It was a bad judgement call on my part when I agreed to her insistence on going to the AC\DC concert the other night, but I caved. I've dealt with people who have health problems for most of my life; my mother being the worst case. I watched my mother go through pain worse than what's going on here, and she did what she needed to do to stay alive, no matter how bad her pain was. She always fought. I could only hope to be as strong. She just doesn't get that sometimes you just have to suck it the hell up. Taking care of people who are sick comes second nature; from giving Tylenol to changing an IV port (those nurses will send you home with damned near anything if you flirt with the right nurse, I think hus name was Jonathan ), and in home peritoneal dialysis. It just frustrates me to all hell that she's just wallowing and not doing what she should. I always have tried to take care of anyone who needed me and did the right things, but when I have to live this right along with her because she's not listening to her doctor, it just makes me want to go outside for a smoke. Guess I Should put this one out and try again. Ok, I'm done whining.
I've spent the last three weeks pretty much in the bush and isolated with only one friend to talk to. My friend Larry is moving out to Texas and needed his building wired. If anybody was present at any one of the many times I've moved over the last 15 years; he's the guy with the big grey bushy beard and is about the nicest guy on the planet. On July 5th, after about a week in the bush, he was saying he had some stomach pain and wanted to rest. No problem. About two hours later, I was driving that old horse of a diesel about 80 through town and across country road, horn screaming, hazards on, all 40 miles to the hospital. I was hoping to attract a cop on the way, but nobody was around, so I just kept going.
I got him into the ER and the nurses took him right back, gave me a tone of paperwork to fill out and said that they'd bring me back as soon as they could. Within an hour, he was scheduled for an emergency appendectomy. At 67 years old? WTF? That happens when you're young generally... Ok, so off into surgery hue goes with the staff under the guise that I'm his son so that I make his medical decisions instead of his brothers. Thanke the universe that Larry is just who he is; tough to kill. He made a full recovery and we finished the job; just a few days late. It didn't hit me until the doctor confirmed what Larry said about getting him here when we did. I've repaid allot of favours over the years, but I never thought I would hear the words "You saved my life; thank you". I couldn't say anything, so I just gave that old fart a hug.
Since I've been home, I have just been in the forrest and haven't been in town until today when a home repair required a trip to the shop. The small town felt huge. After getting what I needed I realized that I wanted to be back in the forrest again. Too much noise. I decided to go out near Seelee Creek and go hiking to clear my head. I ended up tracking a deer for about a half mile. I did a lot of that in Texas when we had spare time. Having the wind in my face was in my favor and I was within easy sight. Part of me wished I'd only had a hunting tag and my old .375 Ruger; Bambi would be dinner. The other part wouldn't let me pull the trigger if I did have the gun. So, I've come to the realization that even though I haven't been a hunter in a long time, unless you count fishing, but I did more than my fair share and missed it; until today. I just sat there watching that old buck just hanging out in the early morning sun. Supposedly every hunter gets to the point where they've had enough of the kill, and I think that I may have as well. I just didn't realize it till years later.
So, there it is; life and death. I think I'm going to go out to town now. As much as I have loved the solitude, I need to relearn how to be around people again.
After being put on the disabled list with this hand injury, I have myself a fun little challenge; I'd write that book; with one hand. I decided it would be a full on, free verse, prose the whole way; “screw you and your grammatical structure” good time; but I refuse to forsake the Oxford comma. A lot of the really good stories; well, they just can’t be told. like, ever. So, I’m writing about my cross country mimd-fuck trip a few years ago. Writing this out I’ve realized a few things;
1. Sometimes I was a real asshole.
2. I beat the piss out of that poor old bike.
3. There are parts of my life that are right out of fifty shades of grey.
4. I’m copping to all of it and some people may not like me so much when all is said and done.
I’m 13 chapters into it and that puts me a little past the half way mark. It will never see publication, but writing it out is a real trip. I honestly never thought I'd be doing this. Man if my shrink sees this thing...
The road turns into a giant banana peel with the first rain of the season. It comes down hard and I laugh at the fact that two hours ago I was baking at 110 in that oven of the Mojave and now I’m 70 or so miles from Flagstaff, playing a game of Chicken with a thunder-storm. Momma would be proud! Probably not.
As I’m riding I look to my left; nothing but trees and beautiful jagged mountains of orange, purple, and blue colors through rain splashed glasses. I almost wish I was heading north. To the east, where I’m going; clouds, rain, the smell of the highway and electricity in the air. I keep going; soaked, tired, sunburnt, and smiling like a complete fool. It takes a special breed of stupid to be enjoying this; and I’m glad to see that I’m still just as stupid as I was the day I kick-started my first bike. Only 20 miles to Flagstaff and a place to sleep.
The “VACANCY” sign hanging from the window of the Budget Bonanza Hotel flashes like a lighthouse beacon in the rain; and I haven’t been this happy to see a run down, old hotel in a while. The bored, fat, annoyed, comb-over king, manager hands me a room key, tells me where to go , and where to park. Not a bad place really. Across the street; a Circle K and Mc Shit.
The smell of old, cum stained hotel room hits and that humid familiarity sets in when the dim lamp shudders to life. Just about as inviting as my own sad bed; this one’s just bigger. The smoke stained walls give the room an eerie, sort of orange/tan, color in the dim, annoying, flickering light. I throw my jacket and helmet on the far side of the Las Vegas casino carpet - comforter. “Looks like I’m stayin’ at the fuckin’ Biltmore” I say with a half-way welcome home smile.
The boredom finally has set in since being on disability, so I'm finally writing that damned book everybody's been on m to write. Chapter one is almost done and I'm taking my usual "brutal truth" manner. Man, I really was a real bastard sometimes. I'll be writing the story of when I was on my month long, throw my life in the blender and hit frappe', bike trip to Jersey and all of that. There are many whos' names will be changed, so those of you who were involved won't be implicated in my story of epic lunacy. I'm finding the whole process a bit cathartic, especially when writing my "brutal truth" hurts me the most. Besides, I always have to do things and this is no exception. I have been doing this using only my left hand because the right one is still immobile. Oh, forgot to mention, I'm right handed. I'll start on chapter two tomorrow.
Christmas used to be a magical thing. The tree surrounded by presents, mom, the old man and I listening to the John Denver Christmas album and watching Christmas Vacation. A couple of days before Christmas I lost my mother. That was about 17 years ago. Anyone who has ever opened a gift from a dead person and read the card they wrote a day or so before they died would understand why I'm so down on Christmas after all of these years.
Since then, my family has dispersed. My mothers family are all dead or lost contact. Not really too pissed about that since the only three members of her family that I did love passed many years ago. Since then, people have tried to make Christmas nice for me again. I honestly appreciate the love and thought behind the effort, but the fact is that I have no desire to take part in family get-togethers, buying or receiving gifts and listening to people bitch about the whole "merry Christmas vs "happy holidays" argument.
Christine has a very large family and participation is somewhat mandatory. I know I probably am going sound like a whiny bitch, but, I HATE Christmas. I do not want to buy obligatory gifts for any one, nor do I want any in return. I do not want yet another tree in my house for the cat to play in. I do not want to go to family functions and listen to a bunch of children screaming and squeaking like a herd of velociraptors playing with their new toys which they will likely hardly care about come New Years. I do not want to spend the whole day listening to people talking about the birth of "Christ" when it is a pagan holiday to begin with. I do not want to spend my whole day driving cop infested freeways all day long going from house to house so nobody is offended. Lastly, I sure as hell do not want to spend time with my fathers new family; most of all his new cunt of a wife. Yes, they were married last month. Took a lot of booze and a three day hangover to get through that farce.
So what's the bottom line here? It's very simple. I would hope that those who care for and respect me would be kind enough not to buy me anything as I just don't want it. Just donate a few bucks to a decent charity and call it good. Please don't be surprised that I didn't get you anything either. Don't worry, nothing personal. I'll just get you something nicer for your birthday. That will at least be sincere. I wish everyone a good time with their families. I hope all is done out of sincerity and is a wonderful day for all. I wish all of my christian friends who have a wonderfully decorated tree would read Jeremiah 10 : 2-4, because after all, "Jesus is the reason for the season". Funny, I thought the season was due to the cooling of the northern hemisphere because of the earths tilted axis and elliptical orbit . At least the pagans recognized it for what it is; the celebration of the winter solstice. So in the immortal words of Chevy Chase; "Merry Christmas,kiss my ass, kiss his ass, kiss your ass, happy chaunikah."
I’m often moved to a deep point of sadness when a celebrity dies in the mannor Robin Williams, but not in the way many may think. I’m sad for every other John (or Jane if we’re still beating the PC horse to death) Doe whose life ended in the same way and the only headline was a little blurb in the obituary section of the local newspaper as an obligatory gesture to anyone who may not have known the deceased well enough for to warrant a phone call from the family or for the pure curiosity of those obsessed with all things morbid.
The recent passing of Robin Williams is a perfect example. When I read the news, I, like most others likely, was stunned. It’s been shown that many comics as well as people who just have a natural bit of entertainer in them many times suffer from some variety of emotional disorder as in the case of our recently lost legend. Many have other emotional ailments which lead to things like substance abuse and often death. Some of the names that come to mind are Jim Belushi, Jani Lane, Kurt Cobain, Lenny Bruce, Chris Farley. The list could just go on and on. I’ve known some who fall into that category during my lifetime, maybe a couple whose name many would recognize; and for that reason I will leave their names out of this.
One person who stands out the most was my father's best friend Mark who ended his life out in the Mojave one night will a revolver about a decade back. Nobody knew him other than his few close friends and a couple of family members. To everyone else, He was just this funny guy who was a ball of energy and could make just about anyone cry from laughing so hard. Those that really knew him, well, we were always worried. He had been medicating emotional problems for years will drugs and alcohol. It was obvious sometimes how much pain he was in and how desperately he wanted it all to stop and let him live a more peaceful life. Clearly, it didn’t work.
I have been suffering from severe depression since I was a child. I love to make people laugh and have a good time. It kind of helps when it’s just a bit too much to put on more than the fake smile to reassure all of those around me that “I’m ok, Nothing to see or worry about here”. As an adult, I had access to booze and drugs. I followed the same path as all of the others before me. I never meant to hurt anyone, myself included, although I’ve never had much regard for my personal safety when it comes to doing something that I think will give me some kind of mental charge or just be so over the top that I can’t say no. It has lead to the loss of many friendships that, often unknown to the other person, were actually very important to me. To this day I remember and very much miss each one of them, especially those who through various means are no longer with us because there is no chance for reconciliation. I have said very harsh things to any and all in my presence because sometimes the pain was just that bad. I’ve awoke an afternoon hang over not having any idea of what I’d said or done the night before, but knowing that it probably wasn’t good.
What almost no one ever saw was me having to talk myself into and through the process of getting up and going to work because I knew that if I let myself sit idle and completely live in my head, I would inevitably become a statistic as well. Most never saw me with a sad tear running down my cheek as I was picking up that damned bottle again in a desperate attempt to just make it all stop and shut my mind up for just a moments peace. I don’t think that anyone ever saw me crying like a child and begging a non-existent god to just let me die and we could call it even. I also know for certain that nobody saw me sitting there with that pistol one late February night. I doubt any one has seen a small tear start to come up when I think about those who have suffered so much because of my actions. To this day I don’t know why they stayed as long as they did, especially those that are still here after the worst of it. What they see in me, I’ll never know. I just appreciate that they do. Very few know that I don’t really hate people; just their ignorance. The hateful look that was used to keep people at bay for so long is now so ingrained in my body that no matter what my mood, even when my face is relaxed completely and I’m at peace for a time, it’s still somewhat visible. I don’t hold this in out of some stupid sense of pride. I just don’t like those near me to be hurting or worrying about me. I’m not saying this wanting any “attention” or for anyone to “feel sorry for me” because this isn’t just me. It’s millions of others out there who didn’t have people to love them and save them from themselves. It’s all of those who will never know the feeling of relieving love when someone sees just how bad off you are and for some reason picks you up, dusts you off and helps you back up. Many don’t have someone to constantly remind them about the good things in their life. If you’re still reading this and the story sounds all too familiar, do me a favor and just let them know you give a damn. It can go a bit farther than you may think. If you feel some of these things, I get it. Now get some help.
I almost died yesterday. I was camping for a couple of days in Kings Canyon/Sequoia National parks. The scenery is breathtaking and the roads are a blast to ride. That was until I took that hair pin turn. I could see that the turn was sharp and didn't have one of those yellow signs telling you the recommended speed. Not uncommon. As I came around the turn, my rear wheel broke loose. I'm not sure if it was something in the road, but who knows? That was when I saw the SUV.
When I was regaining traction I could see this thing headed right for me going into the turn. Because of the loss of traction, I was partly in his lane. When we hit, my whole shifter assembly was ripped off of the frame, the alternator cover has a hole in it, and the new shaft guard I made is dented. When I knew that we were probably going to hit I gassed it, leaned hard as hell to the right and hoped I could avoid him. He ended up with a jacked up tire and rim. Time was moving so slow that I was able to get ,out of the way of more sever danger. I could even see the look on the guys face while he "prayed that I wouldn't end up on his wind shield". I was lucky that I was able to kick my leg back in time or I'd probably be full of screws, nuts, and bolts or possibly lost the lower leg all together.courtesy of the local ER.
The main reason I bring this up isn't for attention or for anyone to thing how cool I am because I risk possible death every time I ride. This has to do with something entirely different. As The front of the car passed me I was well beyond a 45 degree angle, throttle wide open and wondering if I was going to go home or the morgue. All I could think about is C. I was just so afraid that I'd leave her alone. I guess it took almost becoming roadkill to figure out just how much another person can mean to me.
So, do me a favor. Whom ever you love or are in love with, tell them. Always make sure they know with complete certainty. No matter what you do, there is always the risk of not coming back. One day you might not.
My cat Lenore is well, let's just say a little clingy. Been that way since day one. Since moving up here in the mountains, this is the first time she has ever been an only animal. I know, sounds crazy but it's true. Since we have been up here she is always following me around. I assumed she was just bored and got her some toys to play with. Evidently, they don't suit her interest very well because I can't even entice her to play except for the feather on a stick. That's like Kryptonite (yeah, I know. I probably spelled that wrong) to cats. Instead, she just prefers to lay on me and purr herself into oblivion.
It occurred to me as she was wanting my attention, that it was just me she wanted, not a toy or another animal. I have to admit I was a little touched at the thought that having me around is all she wanted. Looking back, it seems as if many of my relationships in the past kind of follow the same pattern. I tend to live in my head and am not as "present in the moment" (Jumpin' Jesus I hate psychobabble) as I probably should have been. When I felt as if I was being wanted, I generally wasn't "there". Instead of giving my time, I usually responded like I did with my cat. No I did not buy my past girlfriends catnip and sticks with feathers! I would do something for them, like a project. I interpreted their attitude as they wanted something done rather than just to have me pay a bit more real attention to them.
Fortunately, C understands me and doesn't seem to mind too much. I suppose we could do dinner out and relax outside with a pipe, coffee, and playing gin. That sounds pretty damned cool to me so I guess it's what I'll do. Guess I know which psychological trait to work on next. My shrink's gonna' love this...