Wednesday, May 19

Essay fo my non fiction class

Out of Munchies

I crept back into the apartment and pretended to fall asleep. My mind was made up. I was leaving. No one knew. 

I had come home from the Navy, only to discover that I was homeless. My father, who  had remarried while I was in boot camp, had sold the home I grew up in, and moved his new wife and her four kids into a new and much larger home. This new place did not include me. My involuntary, non-participation, in this new "family" unit, was made all the more clear when I discovered two important details left out of the wedding announcement. 1) All my stuff had been disposed of. All items from my childhood, from school projects to class photos, from stuffed animals to GI-Joes, and all my non military clothing had been thrown out. It was all gone. 2) My one remaining possession, my motorcycle, I was told, by the step-bitch, was still here. Just before she wailed, "get that piece of shit outta' MY garage!" 
Walking out to the garage, I quickly found my Honda 350-4 next to the work bench in the corner. Covered in dust, and more disastrously, rust! The tank was empty and the tires were flat, but thankfully no dents, and nothing broken. Still, it took me several hours to fond my own way to the gas station, and knocking on strangers doors to see if I could borrow a tire pump to inflate my severely depressed tires. 
Tenuously my right thumb reached for the starter button. Feeling it's way across the throttle and over the retaining ring as it had done thousands of times before. My bike, that I maintained with pride and devotion had never, not once, not even for an instant not started. Until now. Ha na na na nah. Nothing. I adjusted the choke, and tired again. Sputter, cough, na na, sputter-stutter, click, and then; the familiar whine and growl as the engine and my spirit simultaneously resurrected themselves. A bit heavy handed on the choke I thought as the garage filled with dense blue-black smoke and the smell of unburned gasoline. "Serves them right!" I muttered. I let the bike idle for a few minutes, as I tied my remaining possessions to the back of the bike. Without thinking, I turned towards the door that led to the kitchen, but caught myself. "Did they say goodbye to me when they trashed my childhood things?" Saying this out loud, I realized, they did not. The message though, I now got, came through loud and clear; "get lost" they were telling me. The little boy in me, looked sheepishly at the garage floor. Perplexed. Confused. This was not the garage I played in as a child. Home, for me, died that day. It was December tenth 1976. Cell phones were some twenty years in the future, so I did what we almost never do now. I drove to my friends house to see if he was home. Wind in my hair, I rode.
Lying there in the bed, eyes closed, as I carefully reviewed the last four months. It is April first. I didn't plan it this way. Leaving this way, on this date, in the manner I had chosen would be a cruel joke. At best. But, I had been telling myself for over a week now, it had to be this way. The only way a clean break was going to happen. My sinister plot to escape, brewing in my head for over a month, was now complete.
For weeks now, I had been buying stuff. Lots of stuff. A bright yellow, Jan Sport backpack. Even by 1970's standards it was huge. It had to be. It was a beautifully engineered, external frame pack that was to hold: my new sleeping, a light weight, equally state-of-the-art, two person tent, a single burner white gas stove, clothing and most importantly, a month's supply of freeze dried food. All of this carefully hidden on the patio. Under a tarp in the corner. It didn't matter really. The patio was the junk pile. Nobody ever went out there. I could have placed "big yellow," my pet name for my back pack, right in the middle of the patio, in full view of the door, and it would have gone unnoticed for months. I, however, was not about to take chances. Timing, wording, it all had to look normal. I was saying goodbye to my closest friends. Walking out of their lives. Forever. Perhaps. I did not know.
I parked my bike next to my friends back door. Slid open the patio door and walked in. No one was startled, I was nearly family. Shannon and Shelli, Rob and Joann, Joann's brother Rex, Dan and the two cats. Misha and Roger. "You're back!" they all say. 
"I am, just.” 
“I need a place to crash?" 
Shannon motions his head to the back bedroom. "mind the litter box, it's been moved!" 
I stashed my junk on the floor and returned to the main room. Sitting at the smallish no longer round kitchen table, where a Budweiser, in a long-neck  bottle, was already open and waiting for me. 
"Figured you'd need that. How'd it go at your dad's place." Asked Rex. 

"How do you think it went? Piped in Joann, “Honestly Rex, your such an ass! He's crashing here, for God's sake" 

"As expected," I said.  "Worse, actually, they trashed all my shit. It's all gone."  
Shannon, now coming back to Earth, manages to encapsulate the moment,  "Fuuuuuuuuuuck,.....man, bummer" returning to his home made bong, Shannon, a moment later, was safely back circling Jupiter again. 

"Least you still have the bike,” Rob said “Oh, you do still have the bike, they didn't sell,..." 

"No, I interrupted. It's registered to me. They're bastards, not motorcycle rustlers" We all tried to laugh.
The sound of footsteps and the sound of the refrigerator tell me it is time for me to get up. 

“Shit, there’s nothing for breakfast!” my friends mumble in non harmonious quasi-chorus fashion. 

Actually it was part of my plan. In a house full of drunks and stoners, no food outlasts the night. I wait for a few minutes. More noise in the kitchen tells me my moment has come. I walk slowly into the kitchen. I am already fully dressed, with my shoes on, but nobody notices. 
“Dude!” says Shannon. “No breakfast!, I got munchies man, serious MUNCHIES!”
Here, perfectly and unwittingly played by my friend is my que. “No problem, I’ll make a munchy run!” “Hey everyone! I’m off to the store. I’ll get milk and cereal” Without waiting I head for the door. What could I say? I was leaving them. Now. I walked out the door around to the back where my pack and bike were waiting. 
Alone, on my motorcycle, I felt reborn. The freeway traffic was light at 7:15 am. All the traffic on I-5 was heading into downtown Sacramento, and I was heading out towards the airport.  I had escaped from that hell hole, before it devoured me like it had my closest friends. I had hoped the shock would be a wake up call for them. That Shannon and my other friends, would have that collective aha moment and awaken form the drugs and alcohol wet dream they were living. Two exits away from the airport was the Honda dealership. It had been prearranged that I would drop the bike off for them to sell on consignment, and that their sales manager would drive me the rest of the way to the airport. 
A lot happened in that month I was away in Canada. My friends, did actually wake up. Within two weeks of my departure, they had all moved out and gotten on with their lives. I have talked to only one or two over the years. As adults we grew apart over time. even if that time was amped up and foreshortened by my abrupt departure. For me the trip to Canada was an eye opener. I was renewed and awakened repeatedly on many emotional and spiritual levels. My advice? Sometimes just going out for milk and munchies can change your life, in a good way forever. 

Monday, May 17

Cut, deep

Cut, deep. I do not want to write. Pulling on words. Dental floss with that scraping sound as you pull it out of it's container. I never seem to get the right amount. To little and and i end up throwing it out and starting over. Too much and I feel guilty for wasting such a precious commodity. My words feel that way this morning. They smell, stink actually. Rhyme of reason is abandoned as meter and measure fly out the window and into the trash heap. What is one to do with such obvious crap? Again I am sliced open. Cut. Harsh is the shining blade of a trusted one that cuts you deep. Bone deep. Deftly with an oft practiced stroke my heart is neatly, cleanly sliced in two. So perfect, and ever so swift, such that my attacker is long gone before I realize that I am nearly bled out. I am an easy mark. Accepting of others, open and welcoming. It is my nature to be this way. I will not change. Those who keep their skinning knives sharp, their vorpal, killing words honed and ever ready. Hidden. Silent. Sleeping sappers. Waiting for. The right moment. To take what was freely offered and shoplift it. Making beauty into vest. Sublime into ugliness. It is their nature to cut and slice. They will never change. As I learn to heal, they in turn hone their blades ever sharper. Someday I will meet one or perhaps two, who will return my open embrace. On that day I will forget all previous pain. Someday, they will meet another, more practiced than they and they will know the ferocity of the unexpected cut. The cut that goes bone deep. Living by the blade has caused them to perish, as their arteries run dry they die alone. Face down In the gutter. Road kill no one will mourn for or notice. I fear. For theirs is the most wretched life I can imagine.

Monday, May 10

Softness

Softness

The wind does not speak
Rain floating gently to earth
Soft heart welcomes spring


- From the mobile Curmudgeon via his trusty iPhone

be | amazing

Saturday, May 8

Life tapestry

The weaving of Life's Tapestry is not so much about the finished product, but rather, the careful selection of the threads of each moment woven together with skill and compassion. A beautiful weave consists of only a few simple, but no less essential elements. Warp and weft, bound together and combined, with yarn of just the right quality and color wound around the shuttle. Passion is born on such a loom, . . .

So here I am. This odd bit of well seasoned, colorful, kind and compassionate bit of warp. Are you that gentle and caring bit of weft? Would we find beauty in the yarns that wind around the shuttle that we pass back an forth? Working together perhaps we can find threads that are humorous, witty even, and threads that shine brightly in the sun, but can also withstand the inevitable rainy seasons. Will you help me construct a loom that is large enough, robust enough, to weave all of our biggest dreams together? Treadles made of strong oak and pristine ash. Strong enough to weave bold patterns, yet supple enough to capture and weave all the intricate details of two lives well lived.

I believe such a magical loom is possible. Do You?



~ An iPad message: be | a curmudgeon
Location:My heart

Friday, May 7

The peskier the better

It is the right, and I believe the duty, of all who would call themselves good citizens, and most especially those of us who are curmudgeon-ly inclined to ask questions that are of a pesky nature. It is these heart of the matter, cut to the chase kind of questions that are often left unasked and or answered. Some of these you will have seen before.

So, I am ...


I am curious.

Which countries would Jesus invade?

Who would Jesus bomb?

Which of your children would Jesus not educate?

Whose civil rights would Jesus take away?

How many forced labor camps would Jesus own?

Who would Jesus torture?

For what kind of information would Jesus decide that torture is appropriate?

What would cause Jesus to invent water-boarding?

Which Alter boys would Jesus fondle?

For what reason would Jesus change the name of illegal kidnapping to Extraordinary Rendition?

How many LBGT persons would Jesus beat to death?

Whose insurance claim for injuries sustained from being raped would Jesus deny?

Whose health care plan would Jesus cancel?

How many mentally ill homeless people would Jesus stomp, taze, or club to death?

Who would Jesus profile?

How would Jesus decide who looks illegal?

Whose identity or proof of citizenship papers would Jesus demand to see?

How much money would Jesus make from writing and performing songs that promote rape and violence towards women?

How many pet mutilation videos would Jesus post to You Tube?

Which companies that repeatedly pollute the environment on a global scale would Jesus accept campaign funding from?

Which of His disciples would Jesus decide is the most profitable to insure?

Which of His Apostles health care plan’s would Jesus cancel, citing lifestyle or domestic partner issues?

How would Jesus decide which of his followers health care plans were the most profitable to cancel?

Which so-called Christian nation should Jesus disown?

At the end of his life, after days of public beatings, he was murdered. Mutilated and horrifically disfigured in front of his mother and siblings, by the politically correct methods of his time. All of which was requested by, approved of, and endorsed by his own ethnic group.

In the end we are left with precious little of His actual teachings, but I think it is safe to say that He thought that what He taught, what He believed in, and the people He cared for most, us ubstensably, were all worth dying for.

So I ask you, which of His direct teachings would Jesus tell us we can disregard? And for what reasons?



~ An iPad message: be | a curmudgeon

Location:Curmudgeon manor

Wednesday, May 5

The 3:14 to now(here)

The 3:14 to now(here)

Words to the left, words to the right. Stand up, sit down; write, write, write!

Pesky term papers turning my brain to soup. Grammar and vocabulary do loop-de-loop.

Term paper complete.
All the info she asked for.
In one neat haiku.

Would that it were that simple.

(the above waku brought to you by Curmudgeon insomniacs Inc.)


- From the mobile Curmudgeon via his trusty iPhone

be | amazing

Tuesday, May 4

Rain

Rain

Percussive rain. Loud!
Stirs me from my nap. Gently.
Soaring mind. No limits!


- From the mobile Curmudgeon via his trusty iPhone

be | amazing