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My Pally Motts.

 

My Pally Motts

“Seventh row man! for Seger! Seventh Row!”

Motts couldn’t believe his luck.

Thinking he’d just bought tickets to see Rocker Bob Seger and The Silver Bullet Band.

I checked. Seger wasn’t in town on that date? Wasn’t even on tour?

The night of the show. he handed it to me.

Brilliant, said it right on the ticket. “An evening with Seegar.” Pete Seegar.

The poor goof had mistakenly bought tickets to see Pete Seegar, the folk singer.

Not exactly Motts Cup O’ Tay.

We had snuck in a couple pints of Blackberry Brandy, in case we got parched.

When Seegar came onto the stage Motts leaned over and said. “Looks like Bob’s been on a diet.”

“I never knew he was that tall? What’s with the Fooking Banjo!”

It went downhill fast after that.

He opened with “Turn Turn Turn.”

His second song was  “If I had a Hammer.”

Motts spat after the applause died down. “If I had a Hammer?…I’d smash that Banjo!”

The group in front of us turned around and gave us dirty looks.

Five songs into the show, during, “On Top Of Old Smokey.”

Motts began yelling.

“Boooooo!”

Seegar being the consummate professional. kept playing.

The verbal assault intensified.

“Who The Hell Is Smokey?!?”

Pete Seegar ignored it and played on.

“This Land is Your Land, This Land is My Land…From California to the…..New York Island….”

“BOOOOOOO!”

“You’re New Stuff is Shite! C’MON! Play Some Of Your Old Stuff!”

“C’MON SEGER!”

Seegar finally reached his boiling point.

Mid-song he snapped, stopping the show cold, yelling back, “I am playing my old stuff! now Sit Down and shut the hell UP!”

The crowd was beginning to close in and we were all out of brandy.

“Motts? mellow out man, That’s Not Bob Seger. wrong guy…wrong guy. mellow out man. Motts? relax man, cool it.”

He was having none of it. I’m not sure he even heard me?

“C”MON! PLAY RAMBLING GAMBLING MAN!” How about Kat-Man-Dooooo!” fist pumping the air.

“Get Outta DENVER! C’MON BOB!”

The people in front of us turned around again, this time telling us to “Knock it Off!”

Seegar pointed off stage to someone, then to where we were seated. Moments later. Two of the largest humans I’d ever seen approached us.

“Whadda we gonna do now?”

I got the words, “Guys we’re…..” out. before they grabbed us.

Down the aisle, Motts Arms kept flailing about. “Get yer….Grubby….Paws Offa Me! Hey…Hey!”

“This Land is Your Land, This Land is My Land…From California to the…..New York Island…..”

Pete Seegar was in fine form. he was playing the shit out of that banjo.

“You Sold Out Seger! You Sold OUT! Gimme Back My Money!”

Seegar being the consummate professional. kept playing long after we’d left the venue.

The Tribune had a nice review about it the next day. mentioning some over served group that marred the performance just left of the stage before being ejected.

He was inconsolable. To this day he still has no idea who Pete Seegar was? He kept saying “You mean Bob?” I’d say “No Pete.”  he’d tilt his head a little like a dog does when you talk to it.

He means well. He’s not perfect. He knows it.

Truth be told. he’s harder on himself than anyone else is. making a mess of so many things. Always with the best of intentions.

One afternoon at a party, he looked at me, got really serious.

I braced myself. Here it comes, His wife is leaving him? Lost his job? Maybe he’s sick?

Motts began. “A Person’s Health is in His Feet. A Person’s Heart is in His Feet.” then he held up a finger and said. “Never Speak to The Feet while the Head is Alive.”

So I ask him, “How Come?”

He shrugged. “Dunno? Is it because a person’s feet are key to their health, keeping them active and in good physical condition? is a person’s heart in his feet, because of that inner drive to go in search of adventure? undertake the journey. follow our instincts. that if we do? we will be rewarded in the end. someone or something will be there to tell us. That we did a good job. that our lives meant something?

Is it not our heart that tells us this, or is it our mind playing tricks with our feet?”

I’ve known Motts for years. we grew up in the same neighborhood. Went to the same schools.

He’s Generous, Loyal, Big Hearted, Incredibly Temperamental, and Highly Entertaining.

He’s the guy who pulls over for the senior citizen stuck on the side of the road, helping them change a flat tire. the guy who wouldn’t accept money for any favor or help you might need. he might ask you to say a prayer for him.

He’s the guy who visits his Mom and Dad every day. a son who actually wants to spend time with his parents.  He talks with his Ma on the phone every time she calls, never making an excuse.

There’s No, “Ma can I call you back?” Game could be in the 4th quarter. score tied, time running out. if that phone rings? he’s picking it up.

“She might need something? What if she needs something?”

His relationship with his Da? is a little more complicated.

“Get in the Car Da!”

“No, I want to stay home and watch golf.”

“Get in the Car Ol Man!”

“Boyo? My Old Man never hit me once in his life, I hope to continue that trend. but so help me! You Call Me That Again? I’ll Box Yer Ears In.”

Motts Ma always tried to change the subject to keep the peace. “Didja hear the pope is coming? we’ll have to get tickets.”

“Last Chance. Ma and I are going to the movies. are you coming?”

“Go On! Go On Now You……..Scram.”

Didn’t matter. they were his family and he loved them.

Kicked out of College when he drove his car through the front window of a quick mart while in the grip of the grape. his date passed out in the front seat. rolling down his window. He looked at the frozen store clerk who thought she was being robbed. inquiring, “Are Yas Open?”

He’ll accept any challenge. especially of the financial variety. though not always financial.

On a dare, he approached a bird sanctuary dressed like a hunter. making duck calls. peering in the front windows. pounding on the glass. shouting at the birds in their enclosures.

“Come Out With Your Hands Up! I Got The Place Surrounded!”

Thankfully he was smart enough not to have a weapon on him. no felony. just a little misdemeanor. no harm, minor foul. his punishment? community service picking up trash on the side of the highway.

Motts use to love animals of all kinds. he respected, empathized and enjoyed interacting with them whenever possible.

After a Traumatic encounter. things changed.

We had hopped a fence at the local zoo to get a photograph of Motts next to an ostrich. this to win a 300 dollar bet with some guy he worked with. 700 if he got a picture of him tickling it’s foot.

You ever see an ostriches foot? it’s frightening man.

Inside the pen. quietly, we approached.

Easy, Easy, Steady Now, Steady. Steady.

He’d had a brain storm to put a bag over the birds head.

“It might keep it calm if it didn’t know it was having its picture took? I want to make this as painless as possible for the bird.” he said.

“Motts? it’s not being kidnapped for ransom? you’re not taking it hostage? its a fooking ostrich. you need a photo with it. that’s all. stop over thinking it. let’s go. I gotta work in the morning.”

At the precise moment Motts attempted to move into the birds halo? it woke. The Startled Bird staggered, falling hard in the dirt in front of us. I ran, we didn’t belong there.

As Motts and I scrambled back over the fence. big bird stumbled to his feet like a QB trying to get up after being crushed. we left in a hurry. him to reflect on what he’d just done. me so I wouldn’t get caught.

He went back the next day to apologize to the Ostrich. I did not.

His only problem was they all looked the same in the light of day.

“What if you apologized to the wrong one?” I asked him. “Maybe you should have apologized to all of them? They all deserve an apology. Don’t they?”

He agreed, they did.

The next day, man of his word. he returned to the zoo.

Yelling at the birds from just outside the enclosure. this time, he addressed them en masse.

“I’m SORRY! Alright?!? Fair Play, That’s GRAND Then. Thanks Very Much. All Of Yas. Won’t Happen Again.”

As if yelling at them? would somehow grant him absolution.

A zookeeper came out, asking Mott’s to leave immediately.

Wisely, he complied.

Today he gives all animals a wide berth.

That night in the pen with the bird? after an epiphany, Something changed in him.

He refuses to own any animal. No Way Jose. no dog, cat, monkey or marmot. telling me when the end comes. it won’t be from war, or disease, or an asteroid slamming into the earth. When the end of time comes. All animals will run amuck and turn on us.

You go fetch the stick. Kitty doesn’t want to play with that ball of yarn anymore. Polly isn’t interested in any crackers.

If I were you? I’d commence to running.

“I’m not taking any chances.” he told me. “life is too precious. it’s just not worth the risk.”

Unpredictable, Untamed, Unstable.

A Wild Animal.

Un huh. Got it.

 

 

 

 

Friday Night. Shootin Pool.

Wondering what I’ll do when I’m through tonight?

The door opened.

In she walked. Long blond hair. with curves in all the right places. wearing some kind of party dress that didn’t leave much to the imagination. a little overdressed for Mal D’s Billiards. Gals wore get ups like this to those fancy smancy clubs downtown. only thing the rabble in this place knew about clubs? were the ones the coppers put over the top of your noggin for cracking wise at em.

I was about to lose 50 bucks in a game of nine ball.

I put my money on the rail.

Mott’s handed me a drink. and said, “Watch this, Jimmy is a ladykiller.”

The Blonde was sitting at the bar talking to Mott’s friend Jimmy.

“That ain’t no lady Mott’s.

I knew the type. Not exactly a Sunday school teacher.

Jimmy excused himself to make a phone call.

She crossed her legs. leaning back on the bar.

Caught me looking her way.

Giving me the up and down.

Man can stand only so much.

I swaggered over.

Then I said “hi,” like a spider to a fly.

“Where’d Mr. Jimmy go?”

“Had to make a phone call.”

“You know Jimmy?” She asked me.

“I’m his parole officer.”

“You?”

“Oh? Oh My? we just met.”

She was practically in his lap for crying out loud. just met?

Jimmy reappeared. “Help you wit something?”

“Just keeping her company til you returned.

“Fade….Will ya?”

I tipped my hat to her. excusing myself. heading back to the tables.

Just my luck, lost my second game and another 50 bucks. I couldn’t focus.

I turned to see the blonde alone at the bar.

“What happened to Jimmy?” I asked Motts.

“Dunno.”

It was getting late. I walked over….

“Where’s Mr. Terrific?”

“He had to leave.” she said. “Men.”

Leaning on the bar. I told her. “You got us all wrong. He ought to have his head examined, leaving a beautiful dish all alone in this place.”

“Flattery will get you nowhere.” she blushed,

“You remind me of the first woman who ever slapped my face.”

We talked a while, had a couple more drinks, she lived along the lakefront. wealthy family. she was trouble, no doubt about it. one look at those legs and that get up she was in and I knew. Trouble. no one wears a dress like that to a pool hall.

“So doll face what brings you in here tonight?”

“Suzie.” she said.

“Sorry?”

“Suzie, my names Suzie.”

“Gotta be someplace downtown with society fellas falling all over a dame like you?”

“Exactly why I’m in here tonight.” she told me.

“So you’re slumming it?”

“No, not at all. I just wanted to see how the other half lives.”

“And?”

“So far? mmmm.”

Smiling like the devil would smile at you.

I would have run away. but I was on my own.

I tipped my mitt.

We finished our giggle juice. and left together. Heading back to my place. Stopping off to grab a bottle of champagne from Larry’s House of Booze.

Halfway through the bottle, she told me she wouldn’t sleep with me tonight. I just smiled.

All we were missing was candlelight, soft music and our clothes at the foot of the bed.

I lit a candle. dimmed the lights. tripped and fell into the wall head first.

Staggering to my couch. Suzie knelt beside me, concern on her face. trying not to laugh.

I put my arm around her waist, pulling her close.

Again, she told me she wouldn’t sleep with me tonight.

I just smiled. looked into her eyes and unbuttoned her dress.

Lying there afterward, she asked if she could sing me a song.

Wouldn’t be the first time I’ve had a naked woman sing to me.

She got out of bed, turned to me, clasping her hands together and belted out “Crazy for You.” By Patsy Cline.

Why? She wasn’t the devil after all?

Just a lovely woman looking for some companionship.

Who am I to argue with a lady?

In the morning. I awoke to find her still lying next to me.

“I thought I told you I wasn’t going to sleep with you?”

“You did? didn’t you? What happened?”

“Well? What’s a girl to do?” she said as she stretched.

After coffee, we got dressed.

“What are you doing later tonight?”

“I’m sure I can move my plans around if need be.” I told her.

She took her pen out. handing me a note .

It read.

Suzie,
1150 north lake shore drive. # 1707.
Bring Champagne. 9pm. 

The doorman of her building called to announce my arrival. directing me to the elevator.

17th floor.

I knocked on her door.

She opened it wearing a full length mink coat. holding a Polaroid camera.

I Handed her the Bottle of Champagne. “I’m afraid I’m a little under dressed.”

Opening her coat. “What a coincidence? So am I.”

Thunderstorms crossed the city.

This time she put on the music and I managed not to fall into the wall.

It’s almost like we were meant to be together?

We had dinner a week later when she told me, I wasn’t her type.

Apparently her type involved swine with money who could wine her and dine her. take her to society functions. I didn’t have those connections anymore, nor did I really ever want them to begin with. You ever talk to the upper crust? Snooty, real snooty. But the ladies do like to dance under the covers…No matter what they first tell you.

She was a society dame. I was just some mug she bumped into for a couple of days in the spring.

It was a clean sneak. nobody got hurt…I took the rumble. hitting on all eight.

on the square.

Hearing Aids`

For the longest time I would just nod my head if I wasn’t sure what was being said to me.

People constantly had to repeat themselves.

Loud restaurants, Any place with crowds?

I might as well have stayed home. I couldn’t hear squat.

How did I get here?

It’s complicated man.

Little bit of loud music at home, in the car. concerts, parties, festivals & hootenannies. I like to get down with my bad self.

It Probably didn’t help I’d worked in a very loud environment for 11 years.

Ask yourself this?

Do you happen to know anyone you are constantly having to repeat yourself to?

Perhaps a loved one who says,  “I’m sorry?” Cupping a hand to their ear as they lean in to hear you repeat what you’ve just said.

Un-huh,  I thought so.

Someone who says, “Huh” or “Wha?” frequently during a conversation?

When your hearing begins to worsen. Misunderstandings can become more frequent, and embarrassing.

I knew it was time to look into getting my ears checked when my colleagues gently voiced their concerns.

“Are you deaf?” “You really need to get that hearing checked.” “Did you hear what I just said?” or my favorite. “Get the shit outta your ears!”

Nobody wants to admit that they have this issue. you just put your head down and bulldoze your way through. I understand.

It’s not something I haven’t been able to overcome. certainly hasn’t stopped me from anything I’ve wanted to do or see.

Everyone is different.

How did I first get started?

I ended up making an appointment with a Otolaryngologist. or ENT (ear,nose& throat)  specialist. First thing they’ll do is recommended a hearing test. After the test is completed, it was back to consult with the Doctor.

He suggested I meet with an Audiologist.

Things were progressing quickly.

Next thing I know? I’m getting fitted for a pair of hearing aids.

I don’t regret my decision. In fact? I should have gotten mine a little earlier than I did.

The first step is to ask your doctor.

Most likely you are past the pride stage of “I don’t need any help.” or “It will make me look like an old man/old woman.”

Look around you.

Certainly you see people with them today.

Perhaps you have a friend or co-worker who wears them?

This is a good place to gather information. Ask them.

They can steer you in the right direction. I’m pretty sure in the coming years, more and more people will be wearing them.

Everywhere I look these days I see people of all ages wearing them.

It’s a New Era.

Today, Grandpa isn’t sitting out on the front porch holding a funnel in his ear.

“What’d ya say Sonny?!?

“Grandpa where were you born?”

“Wha?!? What’s That?!? Eh? My Pants Are Torn? Oh Dammit! Whose got the keys to the car? I gotta go buy some new goddamn pants…”

“No Grandpa. Where were you born?”

“What’s That?”

These aren’t your Grandparents hearing aids.

Today’s are well constructed, equipped with the latest technology. They are ultra small and well concealed by design.

Protect these miracles of modern science when you get them.

Care for them as instructed by the Audiologist.

If you do? they will most likely last longer.

Prior to my Purchase, I’d be out with friends or on a date with my girlfriend in someplace lively with lots of background noise. smiling and nodding a lot.

Studying facial reactions trying to gleam information from people’s expressions. in the hope of gaining insight into what was being said. I had no idea in some cases.

Are they angry? Are they showing concern? Is this serious? Is This? or Am I? being told a funny story? Should I be laughing? Have they reached the punchline yet? Is the building on fire? Should I be running?

It can be a horrible feeling to add something to a groups conversation only to find out you were way off topic. it gets more than a little embarrassing.

Soft talkers were really difficult. having to lean in close to hear. clearly a space violation. it makes many people uncomfortable.

“C’mon man! Way too close. Back up will ya?”

I began avoiding environments where I knew I would have a difficult time hearing.

I wanted to hear my girlfriend better. I needed to hear my co-workers better.

Sound familiar?

They won’t solve all your problems. like all things, there are some limits.

I do know this, hearing aids can and will help improve the quality of your life.

It might shock you how much you’ve been missing.

Today, Hearing Aid Technology is making huge strides. Advances My Audiologist and Doctor tell me I will live to see, and hear.

I think mine are incredible. they absolutely have changed my life for the better.

You’ll know when the time is right.

It’s not the end of the world. So take it easy.

Help is available, if you want it?

If you have a question I might be of help with?

Feel free to contact me through my site.

Good Luck on Your Journey.

Coconut Crab

I found it in the road, I didn’t know it fed on native birds and turtles? I didn’t know it was a hazard for children and pets? these things can rip through coconut husk like its butter. and will mess up your garden or lawn. 

-Professor Hugh Biquitis-

University of Hawaii 1977 Journal of Science.

___________________________________________________________

March 2015.

All hell was about to break loose on the Big Island of Hawaii.

Lives would be changed forever.

It started out like every other day in paradise. trade winds, sunshine, wit da waves rolling in.

OOOee Mano was on the lanai of his house upcountry in Waimea, when he heard it come on the radio.

Strange goings on.

The report told of a truck over turned on highway 19 coming down from Waimea. The driver identified as Justin Casey Bolts of Kona has disappeared without a trace. Officers first on the scene discovered someone or something had cut a hole from inside and escaped. According to its owner, the truck was transporting animals to a zoo exhibit at the Waikoloa Hilton. many of the animals and sea creatures are missing, having possibly escaped? those that haven’t, are either in no condition to give a statement. or can’t because they’re tropical birds and sea creatures and shit. inspection of the inside of the truck revealed carnage, in both the cab and in the back where the cages and water tanks were located. a brawl appears to have been fought here.

But who started it?  what happened to the participants? No one’s talking.

Those who have lived through an attack by a Coconut Crab or Crab’s will tell ya.

They’re Very Strong, Incredibly Ill Tempered. Originally from Micronesia. They posses a massive Stomach. It’s Pinchers are almost as big as your arm.

Brah? you get in its way? it hurt you bad. mess you up.

The Coconut Crab is a definite anti-social type. known to snap off fingers and indiscriminate to do some serious damage elsewhere.

OOOee was driving a cargo van that night bringing Snack cakes and Yoo-Hoo to The Kings and Queens Shops on the Kohala Coast.

Coming down the mountain on Highway 19 about an hour past sunset.

While rounding a turn, the crab attacked. its massive claw reached out and latched onto the back bumper of the van pulling itself aboard, cutting a hole and climbing inside.

Listening to his music and thinking about this and that. OOOee had no idea what was creepin about inside the back of his van.

Locked up long enough, this was one angry crab. bent on doing some bad.

The Coconut Crab burst inside the cab and started snapping his massive claw at OOOee. Who did what anyone would when faced with a Hideous Creature ready to do you harm. he hit it repeatedly with a wrench really hard. screaming like a little schoolgirl, he fainted. driving off the side of the road down the steep embankment. The Van smashed through the lava rocks and various scrub bushes coming to a violent halt landing in an old lava tube.

Lucky for OOOee this lava tube was an old flow. and not the new lava that flowed on the other side of the island.

The vans drivers door was wedged in between the lava rock. it wouldn’t open. OOOee released his seatbelt climbing out the window.

The Beast was thrown through the windshield as the van came to rest in the lava tube.

OOOee didn’t stop to wait and see if it was ok? OK? he turned and ran for his life, scrambling up the embankment towards the road above.

Coconut Crab was in Hot Pursuit. growling and covered in snack cakes and broken bottles of Yoo-Hoo.

Making it back to the main road. No streetlights, gas stations, Nothing, but….darkness.

When night falls on the island. you can’t see your hand in front of your face. only thing to do is head down the road and hope a car or truck comes by. and, that they stop.

Car headlights approached at a high rate of speed.

OOOee frantically waved his arms. it swerved narrowly missing him. continuing on tail lights disappearing over the next rise.

The growling began to get louder, and Louder.

What is that thing?

Another set of headlights in the distance.

Stepping onto the roadway. he could hear loud music and a woman’s screaming as the car locked up its brakes.

OOOee stood terrified in the oncoming lane. the driver yelled out the window “Are You Crazy?!?”

A young couple most likely on their honeymoon far away from whatever place they called home. the lady was straddling the man in the front seat. These two were definitely not observing the rules of the road in any country.

OOOee pleaded, “You Gotta Help Me, Something Is After Me!”

The girl in the car reached for her shorts on the passenger seat trying to cover herself up, yelling at her new husband.

“Donny! Don’t Stop!”

“Honey, this man needs our help. can’t you wait til we get back to the room? or at least until we drop him off?”

She screamed louder…..”What?!? NO! Not That. Let’s Get Out Of Here. I’m Scared…”

The Crab Leaped over the embankment through the open passenger window of the stopped car.

OOOee ran. he couldn’t see a thing. looking back over his shoulder he heard the voices of the young man and woman screaming. the cars suspension rocking back and forth violently until it slowly stopped.

All you could hear now was the surf below coming ashore.

Growling.

What is That?

The Crab was headed his way.

“I was supposed to have the day off.”

He kept moving.

Quarter mile up the highway, OOOee took a louie down a side road that led to a restricted section of land used by the army as training grounds during World War II. the area is littered with unexploded bombs and other munitions that have yet to be cleaned up. multiple pleas from locals to the U.S Government have gone unanswered. Feral dogs run loose in the area occasionally stepping on and detonating old ordinance. its extremely dangerous. Security fences surround the land blocking the public from entering.

Keep Out.

U.S. Army Property.

He climbed over the fence to the property.

Maybe? someone would be on guard? watching the place? maybe they had a phone?

OOOee didn’t. he left his phone in the truck. $#%T!

The place was quiet, no sign of a guard or guard-house anywhere. Large holes pockmarked the ground. Enormous impact craters surrounded him.

Maybe I can hide in one of these and wait it out until daylight? he thought.

The fence rattled. he stopped moving, listening. just the breeze. quiet……

The fence rattled again….

Low growling at first, grew louder. this was a different sound.

A feral dog approached baring its teeth. inching closer to OOOee.

The dog never saw the crab until it was too late. knocking it flat. the hound had…had it.

OOOee ducked his head below the rim of the crater he was in. holding his breath. had it seen me?

What is that thing?

The crab did indeed see him. it started to growl. stepping forward placing its leg directly on top of an unexploded munition. until….the munition, exploded. the concussion of the blast set off countless other old bombs and munition on the grounds. the night sky glowed. The crab was blown to bits.

Help came pretty quick as the blasts were heard up in Upcountry. 

The Police along with Army Officers from Pohakuloa Training Area showed up to interrogate OOOee. Satisfied. OOOee was then taken to the hospital treated and released.

He ended up being a hero to the locals. currently the area is slated to get the ok for development of 5 homestead communities that are located within two sections of the Big Island that OOOee helped clear by accidentally luring the crab onto the private property. The sections cover about 100,000 acres.

The crab pushed its luck too far. should have headed out to sea and left well enough alone. but no? it had to push it. Messed wit da wrong Hawaiian.

Sometimes you eat the OOOee. Sometimes, the OOOee eats you.

“How did dat ting get loose?” everyone wanted to know.

Turns out when the driver of the truck stopped for a burger in Waimea. Some Eco-Extremist-Conservationists later identified as Yutov Moore, Ahmad Dogg, Sue Flay, Helen Bedd and Dawn Sara Lee Light broke into the parked truck and tried to release all of the animals. they were successful getting inside. beginning to open the cages and water tanks, until the driver appeared. scaring them off before they had completed their mission. unaware of this, he drove off.

Mass hysteria immediately ensued inside, critters and creatures of the sea and the air began to rip each other to shreds on the road down from Waimea to Waikoloa. Mayhem eventually smashed into the cab. the driver fought for his life and lost. being consumed by several of the larger creatures including the Coconut Crab. setting in motion the colossal struggle witnessed today on the Big Island of Hawaii.

As for OOOee? No Worries Brah, He Da King of Da Big Island, Island Royalty. if only for today? that’s cool wit OOOee. he’s just happy to be home. sitting in his chair, cold drink in hand, enjoying cool breezes.

Wit not a care in the world.

“Today I am Colonel Pineapple. Yesterday I was Captain Coconut. But I got promoted.”

Listening to his music and thinking about this and that.

The only appropriate emotion is gratitude.

JimmyFlynnAbout a year ago a man moved into our community from Ireland.

His wife had passed away back home, he woke up one morning, alone.

Searching for something to give his life meaning again. to show us all that he still had something to oooffer it.

A Purpose. in a new land by God!

Phone’s ringing.

America was calling.  And he would answer it’s call.

“Wha? Who is this? I’ll be right over.”

When I first met him at a neighborhood party he told me he moved here because He and his Mrs. had always wanted to see America.

She’d have wanted him to go on some grand adventure.

He had mourned her passing long enough. he knew now as well as any, that we’re all running out of time.

How do you want to go out? doing good or doing bad. that’s the choice really in the end.

I tried to explain to him that our village already had a police force.

That he couldn’t just establish Himself as Sheriff.

The local police force had things covered.

He disagreed, His mind was made up.

He wanted to give something back. so began his campaign for sheriff.

His request to speak to our village board at an open forum was granted.


“Howareyas,

I would like to take this time to announce my candidacy for Sheriff.

As the fella says. I’m officially offering my services to you good people.

I am ready to faithfully serve the village at large as your sheriff.

It’s high time we take a look to see if maybe establishing a position would be a good thing in this age of no manners. 

That said now, I would be willing to make sure a few quid might find their way to the right people for some assistance from time to time.

No questions asked. nothing illegal, you see? really. nothing you would likely do time for? I think? no questions asked, Eh?

I think it would be just grand, to be like Fife was in Mayberry.

Ah that one. Was just as likely to shoot himself in the foot as yours.

Cagey, that one. kept you on your feet all the time.

Mad Genius he was.

I also need to find a dog I can sick on potential criminal types lurking in the park at night.

Should anyone of yas know someone with a vicious dog for sale or rent? give me a ring eh?

I don’t want to be speakin too much about my Candidacy yet as we’re still formulating a game plan.

It’ll be grand though.

We’ll have the biggest hooley you’ve ever seen the likes of in yer day.

I can promise you that!

Course ya need a favor? I’m shar we can come to some kind of arrangement.

I don’t want none of ya’s to think that we be all fun and games.

The sheriffing business is nothing to be taken lightly. I want all the citizenry to know that I plan to honorably uphold the law in the fair vicinity of the village boundaries. making sure that any riffraff or hooligans will be dealt with, severely if necessary?

I believe that all the tom foolery and lollygagging that’s been going on around here has gone on long enough.

It’s time that the law steps up, and protects us from the likes of some of the rabble I’ve seen with me own eyes out after dark.

Never was a scabby sheep in a flock that didn’t like to have a comrade. I can tell you that! There are far too many scabby sheep out walking the streets these days.

And what does the current law do about it?

There’s trouble in every house and some in the street.

If elected? I will deputize two to possibly three deputies to serve as my confidants.

We would be happy to work with the local government if they’ll just admit that there is a problem.

Stop breaking your shin on a stool that is not in your way.

My god man?! life doesn’t have to be this hard. where is your good sense? eh?

Furthermore, I’m offering my help in bringin justice and safety to us all. god bless us, all of us. except the troublemakers.

They are on their own. the godless heathens. may they get what they deserve.

For now, we’ll operate out of my friends garage til the village comes to its senses and offers us suitable headquarters for our base of operations.

I don’t want anyone of yas to be thinking we will be playing favorites.

Having history with me or me constables will not buy you any favors. those will have to be negotiated with discretion at the time of the transactionas it were.

No need getting ahead of ourselves.

I’m sure we can work something out. we are, after all, reasonable people. aren’t we now?

I’m pleased to informs yas, that my candidacy is fully funded.

There is absolutely no need for any donations at present.

Save your money for permits you’ll no doubt be needing to purchase.

Yer businesses will after all? need to remain open and functioning smoothly.

So? we will need to receive some sort of kindness paid to us to maintain the proper standards befitting a village of our comfortable surroundings.

We can discuss this further when the time comes.

Suffice it to say? might not be the worst thing for you to do.

Law is costly, let’s shake hands and be friends.

As a wise one once said, He who doesn’t look ahead remains behind.

I say, keep an eye on your back, you never know who’s lurking about.

My Name is Jimmy Flynn and I’m running for Sheriff.”

  

The Falconer

The Falconer

I thought he was in costume when I met him. he was wearing a suede jacket with fringe and feathers. on his left hand a huge mitt that looked like a welders glove?

“Can’t wait for you to meet him. games at noon. you’re in for a treat. See you Sunday.”

I hung up the phone.

Sunday.

Watching the Game at my friend Jocko’s house. his sister is in town, with her new boyfriend from Arizona.

Jocko met me at the front door, I had stopped on the way over and bought some chicken wings.

“What are you doing? Wings?”

“Yeah man! ohhh right, the falconer?”

“Just put em in the kitchen.”

“You aren’t gonna believe this character. I don’t think he’s a fan of professional football. He’s into birds. be nice, it’s my sister.”

Jocko introduced me to Russell. we shook hands and I sat down.

Halfway through the first quarter.

“HEY That Guy Just Threw Something On The Field!”

Exchanging glances with my friend. I realize that the falconer isn’t kidding.

“That’s a penalty flag, the referee’s throw that when they see something illegal.”

“Against the rules.” I add. “Where are the ladies Jocko?”

“Shopping. Big sale someplace….”

“Russell, can I see your bird? sorry….Falcon. Can I see your Falcon?”

“He resting now. Perhaps, after the contest?”

“C’mon man, I just want to take a peek, I won’t wake it.”

Standing, Russell pulls out his phone. “Pardon me.” exiting the room.

I look at Jocko.

“Why is he wearing that mitt?”

“He needs it, When he feeds it, it sits on his hand.”

“Where is it napping in the guest bedroom?”

“In the garage.”

“I gotta see it man.”

“Not now, later. halftime.”

Russell walks back in, sitting down to silently watch the rest of the first half.

Our attempts to draw him out into conversation prove to be futile.

A couple of field goals make it 3-3 going into halftime.

Russell excuses himself once again to make a phone call.

I look at Jocko. “C’mon man, show me the bird.”

“OK. let’s go, you gotta be quiet, no messing around.”

Entering the kitchen, I ask, “What brings them to town?”

“They’re in for a Bird Meet.”

“Bird Meat?”

“What?….. Meet, not meat.”

“You know? a contest, for umm?…his bird to hang out and compete against other falcons.”

“Jocko? Falcons are not pets. they don’t hang out. this is serious business. these birds are trained to kill. Did you notice how he walks? he holds his arm out like a butler handing you a towel.”

“Who? the Bird or Russell.”

“The Falconer. Birds don’t have arms. do they?…. You eegit.”

Leading me to the Garage. Jocko opens the door.

In the corner is a coat rack with a bird perched atop it.

“What the…is the bird making it smell like this? or is it like this all the time?”

“It’s the bird.”

“Open the goddamn door and get some air in here. It smells like ass.”

“It’s the bird. we can’t open the door. He might fly away.”

“He? so…it’s a boy bird?”

“What? Yeah….I think so? I don’t know?”

“Well…What’s his name?”

“Francis.”

“Francis?!? listen? Grab ahold of him. I want to check and see if he’s got a pair.”

“Keep yer mitts off.”

“Where’s your flashlight? I’ve seen pictures of falcons before, they didn’t look like this. This bird is a fake.”

“Shuddup, You don’t know nothing.”

“Who ties up a bird and places a hood on his head? then holds him in a dark garage. don’t they have hotels for special birds like this? hotels or barns, bird hostels? seriously man. it’s going take a lot of cleaning in here to get this stank out.”

“Have you seen him fly yet? get that goof in here or I’m gonna take off his little leather bird hat.”

“No! it keeps him calm.”

“Jocko? He’s wearing a blindfold. what have you gotten yourself mixed up in! is this some sort of bird S&M thing? C’mon, take off his mask, let me look into this crazy birds eyes.”

I decide enough is enough. taking matters into my own hands.

I lift the hood off Francis head.

Seeing Jocko and I standing there next to it, the bird goes berserk. flapping its wings wildly.

Lunging forward towards my face. Screeching.

“CAAAWWWW!”

Jocko and I fall back onto the garage floor, scrambling for cover behind his car.

After banging off the garage door a few times Francis has settled on the rafter above us.

“Shit! I thought it was tied to the coat rack? Now What?!?”

“Give him a friggin cracker. Maybe it’ll calm him down?”

“Cracker? They eat mice and small critters. it’s not a parrot. we’re in the garage. You See Any Crackers Out Here?”

Upon Hearing the commotion, Russell rushes in, from above, his bird bellows.

“CAAAAWWWWW!”

“Behave Yourself! None of that Now. None of THAT!” Russell shouts.

Crouching down. and now frightened. I look at Jocko.

“Is he talking to me or the bird?”

No response from Jocko, who remains motionless, as if he doesn’t move, no one will notice he’s there.

I decide it’s time to go.

Mood is Wrong.

Covering my head in my hands I make a break for the side door of the garage.

“Don’t Run!” Jocko yells. “They’re attracted to Motion!”

Francis spots me and is in hot pursuit.

Yanking the door off its hinges I stumble outside.

Daylight! Freedom!

I feel the whoosh of air above. As Francis buzzes right over my head disappearing into the late afternoon grey sky.

In Retrospect, I’m not sure how I feel about it?

At the time my survival instincts kicked in.

Most of you would of done the same thing.

Then, after taking time out for some quiet reflection.

Was this bird a prisoner? Held against its will.

Ummm?

Did he and his former master have some kind of bond that was beyond my understanding?

Well?…Yeah.

Did I do the right thing by accident?

It would appear no.

That night The Falconer put an ad on Craigslist about a missing Falcon.

We have heard nay about it.

It’s been 7 weeks now since he flew the coop.

Russell has grown increasingly more restless.

He’s expecting some serious cash from us for a new bird.

The last time Jocko and I spoke to discuss the delicate matter of Russell’s money? Didn’t go so well.

“Hey? did you ever see that Maltese Falcon with Bogart? how much do you think that falcon cost?”

“Jocko? That was a stone bird. not a real flying around type of bird. I seriously doubt the falconer is going to accept a painted statue of a bird? Which, by the way Brainiac? won’t fly, or be able to go to bird meets to hang out.”

We were shocked to find out a new falcon is going to set us back about five grand.

Five Freakin Grand!

We finally did agree to split the cost, Jocko tried to stick me with the full cost at first.

Until I explained to him that he never should of shown it to me without The Falconers permission.

It was his house after all the bird was staying at.

Before we cough up the dough, we’re trying one last thing.

We’ve put together a flier to post around town.

Missing Bird.

Answers to, Hey Bird! and Francis.

Last Seen, flying away.

Likes: Live Mice, Small Critters, Flying Around.

Dislikes: Loud Voices, Garages, Motion and Crackers.

Reward.

Please be careful. he’s really unpredictable.

***-564-5737 ask for Jocko.

Give me a shout if you see a large unidentified bird flying around.

The squirrel was laughing at me.

I was never more sure of anything in my life.

I hissed at it.

Then, I went back to my raking. filling up seven more bags of leaves.

I looked back up into the tree.

Strange, It was still there?

Only now? there were two more with it. watching me. I stared back at them. they exchanged sideways glances.

These three were up to something. No two ways about it.

“You Imposter.” I heard a voice say, “You fool no one.”

It sounded like Peter Lorre. high-pitched and nasally.

Then the other two started in on me.

“He’s holding the rake all wrong! Will ya look at this guy?”

“He’s not taking into account the wind? it’s out of the west.”

“No No it’s out of the north!”

“Hey man? get it together. rake away from the wind, geez c’mon!”

“If he’d check the weather he’d see the wind is going to pick up.”

Peter Lorre and his squirrely pals were judging me. criticizing my technique. my way of doing things.

I rubbed my eyes.

“If he waited two days? he wouldn’t have to rake em? they’re all gonna blow away!”

One of them put a finger in its mouth to dampen it, then held it aloft to test the wind.

“High pressure system is heading our way. winds definitely gonna change.” it said.

I dropped the rake and ran into the house.

That night, as I slept.

A voice, “Imposter.”

I was raking in the yard again,

I looked into the trees, they were filled with squirrels.

Every branch. Every limb was full of them. And every one of them was looking at me.

“Do yourself a favor and move back to the city, you’re out of your element.”

It was that prick Peter Lorre. I guess he was the lord high squirrel?

One of them threw a bus ticket at me. told me to “Beat it.”

An eerie silence fell.

A large herd of squirrels stared at me from the branches above.

I went into our garage, found the can of gas for the lawnmower and poured it at the base of the tree. then I lit it.

“How do you like that PETER?!? WHERE’S YOUR MOSES NOW!?!”

Flames raced up the trees trunk.

My wife came flying out of the house, grabbing our garden hose spraying the tree with water.

In the distance, sirens approached.

“Can you believe that Honey? Did you see them? Did you hear what Peter said to me? Look? they gave me this bus ticket.”

She looked at our charred tree, before turning to contemplate the love of her life.

“What is wrong with you? What Bus Ticket?”

“I Didn’t Do Anything? They Started it!”

A fire truck pulled up in front of our house. followed by the police. I was ticketed, and told in no uncertain terms not to set anymore fires.

I walked back into the house. and stared at the fireplace. confused.

The following morning, I got dressed and went out into our front yard to scan the trees.

Where’d they all go?

It began to rain. winds were gusting through the branches. I stood there an hour or so watching and listening. Until I heard the rumble of thunder. I had some chores to do before the game started.

Work, work, work.

That afternoon, I fell asleep on the couch.

I was in Hawaii. relaxing in a lounge chair at the pool. A squirrel approached me and asked me “If I’d like something to drink?” I said no thank you. Would it be possible to get something to eat? The squirrel shook his head and said, “No.” Then he hit me with his little drink tray and ran off.

Had a difficult time sleeping that night. keeping one eye on the tree outside our bedroom window. first I heard scratching. then murmuring? like an angry crowd had gathered.

It kept growing louder and louder.

I pulled the covers up to my chin and waited.

The next day at work things got a little sketchy. I had some sort of a confrontation with a parking meter.

At lunch, my co-workers saw me yelling at my sandwich in the break room. All they would say is, he seemed incredibly distraught.

They called my wife to come get me.

To be clear, if I may?

Just because she signed the papers to put me away. doesn’t mean she doesn’t care. it’s only temporary arrangement. ok?

She needed to do something I suppose?

Everyday for the past two weeks.

I would come home from work and run through the sprinkler in my suit.

Sure, I got a few strange looks. But what the hell?

Down the street, we have a guy who cuts his lawn at dawn in his pajamas while drinking a glass of wine.

Everybody’s dealing with something. you know?

Pressures either at work, issues with your kids, your spouse, maybe it’s a combination of things?

If that’s your only problem? Be Thankful. The stuff on the surface can be handled. You can work through it.

But, if you start to see things? Or hear voices? things that aren’t there? Well? You have my sympathy and my understanding Pal.

I really want to go home. I’m tired of all these restrictions.

I wasn’t talking to the squirrel. He was talking to me.

What was I suppose to do? Ignore it?

I should’ve, I could’ve, unfortunately? I didn’t, I just couldn’t.

So now?

I’m sharing a room with this guy who thinks he’s….Magilla Gorilla. Keeps calling me Ogee or Mr. Peebles.

I guess I shouldn’t complain, he’s respectful, picks up his stuff, stays on his side of the room. What more can you ask of a roommate? his goofy voice can wear on you. All this “Gee Mr. Peebles” nonsense. My Name is not Mr. Peebles. I don’t own a pet store with a Gorilla for sale.

Let it go man!

“Won’t you buy him? take him home and try him? gorilla for sale.”

C’mon? take him home and try him? That’ll never work.

I want to go home and run through the sprinkler.

My wife told me on her last visit that my friends and co-workers have been calling to inquire how I’m doing?

I’m feeling better. The dreams have subsided. I am sleeping better.

Although? I can’t be sure that they won’t come back?

I saw a squirrel outside yesterday.

Didn’t talk to me. Didn’t even look my way. Which is fine by me.

Doctor tells me I should make a full recovery. I just need some rest.

Things are a lot easier here, I have lots of friends. a nice bed to sleep in, three square meals a day.

I get visitors from time to time holding clipboards.

Everyone is always asking me how I am?

We get to talk about our problems every day. The people who work here are really friendly.

And the patients are mostly cool. Mostly.

Except for this guy named Larry who keeps asking everyone, “is it safe?”

“How the fuck should I know Larry?”

Tomorrow for grins. I might tell Larry it’s not safe, while staring at his forehead. just to see what happens.

I think I’m calmer? calmer than most people in here. I have lots of room to run and play.

As long as I promise to take my medicine and stay off the electric fence.

I can have jello for desert. And….Not the kind they put fruit in. I like my jello clean, and neat. Preferably Lime or Cherry. don’t even try to pass off that stuff you can’t see through. You know the kind I’m talking about? That pink or white shit. You never know what surprises they’re hiding in there? I like to see through my food when possible. Otherwise, I just keep picking at it until I’m sure there are no surprises. I won’t drink anything out of a can. Has to be a bottle or jug I can see through.

I use to love fast food. not anymore. Few years ago some cement head was putting severed fingers in the chili at Wendy’s after he purchased it? Then Blaming Wendy’s for it? and suing them? Wendy’s? The Guy hired a lawyer to sue Wendy’s? for, are you ready for this? mental anguish. Messed up the whole fast food thing for me. Can’t go near it anymore. Bums me out. Because I love chili.

I also love a good fish taco. extra fish. Grande Fishy Taco por favor. With a glass of water. from a bottle, no ice.

Sometimes, I hear voices.

Last Junior High Dance

Junior High Dance

Song: The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face.
By, Roberta Flack

Your last junior high school dance has arrived. hang on a second pal, do something about that hair.

Zip up that fly, stop looking like you’re going to barf.

Because that 13-year-old girl across the dance floor? yeah….that one, right there.

Is looking right at you.

Your mission? if you decide to…accept it? is to get up the nerve to ask her to dance.

For God’s Sakes Man! be cool. keep it together. try not to look like such a goof.

She’s looking over here. keep it together.

Oh Hell’s Bells! not them? not now.

Three of your best so-called pals are egging you on.

“Go on Maaaan! What are you Chicken?”

“Chicken Fried Fraidy Cat!”

“Hey Hogan? your fly is open.”

Quickly I reach down and check my fly. my chucklehead friends are exchanging punches in the shoulder.

She’s not going to wait forever, go on, ask her.

If that dickhead (Name Deleted) gets to dance with her first? you’re going to have to egg his house in retribution.

Wow? look at her. those eyes, that smile. She’s so pretty, wish I had a girlfriend like that.

Did I just say that out loud?

You look over and notice no visible reaction from your friends who are still punching each other in the shoulder.

I think she likes me? she say’s hello from time to time in the halls.

Hopefully? the last time I grunted in return, I didn’t sound like I had been dropped on my head.

Why does she keep looking over here?

(Name Deleted) comes over. We exchange hard punches in the shoulder.
Song: Theme from Shaft

By, Issac Hayes

I swear, if (Name Deleted) asks her to dance? he’s going to disappear forever beneath a pile of dirt clods.

I take a slow deep breath.

It’s Now or never.

I start towards her.

Unbeknownst to me (Name Deleted) is right behind me.

I never saw it coming.

I fly into the refreshment table knocking it over.

Laughter erupts.

Sitting on the floor amidst a puddle of Hawaiian punch and cookies.

One of my friends yells out, “Nice going Hogan! You idiot.”

(Name Deleted) isn’t finished.

He jumps on my back, grabs my head in his hands, ramming it repeatedly into the gym floor.

As they pulled him off me, he had his pocket knife out. and has stabbed Mr. Raley our principle in the hand.

Our Gym teacher Mr. Pro grabbed him from behind in a chokehold and knocked the knife out of his hand.

The Police were called.

(Name Deleted) brother had been killed in Viet Nam earlier in the year.

Understandably he’d taken it hard. this was just his latest incident of rage.

A month earlier he pushed Joe our school janitor down the stairs.

I would be ok. I had a bloody nose, large bump on the head, and a tear in my really cool red corduroy smoking jacket.

The nose and head would heal. The Jacket?

Mom was gonna be upset, I’d gotten it special for the dance at Just Jeans. ®

They took (Name Deleted) to the police station. No criminal charges were filed.

He was suspended for the rest of the school year.

As he was being loaded into the back of the police car?

He spotted me. I have bad dreams remembering the look he gave me, even today.

From the backseat of the squad. He shouted.

“Will you wait for Me?!?”

I thought he was talking to me? I pointed to myself.

“Not You Asshole! Her!”

“Don’t dance with him! You’re suppose to be with ME!”

She looked right at him and made a face like she had eaten something that didn’t agree with her.

Shaking her head, she said, “No!”

Powerful word. no. get’s right to the point. no.

After that? he got quiet, remaining very still, until the police car took him away.

I turned to look at her, her eyes met mine. I smiled.

She didn’t smile back.

Several of her friends surrounded her.

I was crushed.

Why didn’t she smile back?

I heard my friends laughing.

Why didn’t she smile back?

Shaking it off, I walked over to them. pretending not to notice. after all. they’re your friends.

The dance was over.

One of my Teachers, Miss Bass asked me if I was alright?

I nodded that I was.

I wasn’t.

I’m hurt, I’m pissed, my new red corduroy smoking jacket is torn!

I decide to walk home.

About half way, I hear a voice behind me.

“Robert? Wait. Robert.”

“Are you ok?”

Touching my hand to the bump on my head, I nodded, I was.

“Why didn’t you ask me to dance tonight?”

I look down at the ground paralyzed. Then at her, shuffling my feet.

” I….I don’t know.”

Only, I knew. I was afraid. Afraid she’d say no. I turned away and walked home.

No goodnight, No, see you in school on Monday. Nothing.

Song: Alone Again (Naturally)

By, Gilbert Sullivan

I wanted to have that night back.. I wanted another chance.

At the time. I felt like I’d blown it!

When you’re a thirteen year old. you think that every moment is the last chance you’ll get.

Then? you find out it isn’t.

The light bulb goes on. Chances and Opportunities happen everyday.

You just need to recognize them.

And act on them. Unafraid.

I eventually got that dance.

Song: Doctor My Eyes
By, Jackson Browne


 My Last Junior High School Dance 1973

Song List

1. Hello it’s Me
Todd Rundgren
2. Lean on Me
Bill Withers
3. Theme from Shaft
Issac Hayes
4. The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face
Roberta Flack
5. I’ll Be Around
The Spinners
6. Me and Mrs Jones
Billy Paul
7. Mother and Child Reunion
Paul Simon
8. Everything That I Own.
Bread
9. Rockin Robin
Michael Jackson
10. Brandy ( You’re a Fine Girl)
Looking Glass
11. Your Mama Don’t Dance
Loggins and Messina
12. Right Place Wrong Time
Dr. John
13. Saturday in the Park
Chicago
14. Nights in White Satin
Moody Blues
15. Heart of Gold
Neil Young
16. Dancing in the Moonlight
King Harvest
17. It Never Rains in Southern California
Albert Hammond
18. Long Cool Woman (in a Black Dress)
The Hollies
19. Crocodile Rock
Elton John
20. Reelin’ in The Years
Steely Dan
21. Morning Has Broken
Cat Stevens
22. I Can See Clearly Now
Johnny Nash
23. Day After Day
Badfinger
24. Go All The Way
Raspberries
25. The Witch Queen of New Orleans
Redbone
26. Drift Away
Dobie Gray
27. Troglodyte (Cave Man)
The Jimmy Castor Bunch

Yoga Class and Cleaning the Cups.

Yoga

 

I was looking for something to help me relax.

Yoga helps reduce stress, alleviate health problems, makes the spine supple.

I would like all of those things.

Yoga is used as a complete exercise program. and as a physical therapy routine.

I can understand that. where I get a little confused? is when I hear people go a little too mystical on me.

Telling me that Yoga is “The cessation of the perturbations of the mind.”

“That the ultimate goal is a state of permanent peace.” Permanent State of Peace?

Is that even possible?

I’ll bet even the Maharishi himself smashed a lamp or two in his day in anger.

Will Yoga heighten my awareness? reduce my stress? keep me in good physical shape?

I was willing to give it a shot.

The day of my first class,  I was asked by my instructor. “If I knew where my Chakra was located?”

“Chakra?, No? No I do not.”

The Chakra is located just below your belly button, if you are a man? it’s located above your junk.

If you are a woman? get somebody else to show you.

Generally I don’t want to be pointing at or placing my fingers around the woman’s Chakra. Dig?

The Chakra is where all of your energy emits from.

After my first class I won’t forget thinking, You’re going to teach me how to breathe?

If I didn’t know that, I wouldn’t be here right now.

I’m paying someone to teach me how to breathe.

Apparently my poker face and eye roll gave me away. as my instructor rephrased her point.

“We will teach you how to breathe correctly, or better.” expelling bad energy, with cleansing breathing.

The instructions I’m getting here, this information? is not something I can share with my friends.

I can’t go and tell the fellas I’m taking Yoga.

I might as well tell them I’ve decided to become an astronaut.

“Hey umm Jocko? I started taking yoga classes.”

“Yoga!?! Wha? What for? Yoga? Wha? isn’t that where people sit on the floor and chant? Fucks smatter wit you?”

Followed by a punch in the nuts.

We often fear what we don’t understand grasshopper.

I went to class almost a year, 3 to 4 times a week. it was a wise decision.

After each class, Our yoga instructor would invite the class to stay for tea afterwards.

We’d sit on the floor in a circle basking in the glow of a completed class.

I’d feel good, alert, upbeat, relaxed, happy and content. I was at ease. she would pour us tea and pass the cup to her left. the person next to her would pass the cup to their left, each person would continue to pass the cup to the person seated to their left until it went around the circle to the person seated directly to the right of the instructor. no one would drink from their cup until everyone had a cup of tea. no one would pass a cup across the circle or break from the cycle.

This had something to do with the energy field in the room. before we drank, we’d lean forward to one another and bow. I must admit to you, there was a lot of positive energy in the room. you could feel it.

I asked the instructor one evening.

“What type of tea is this?” asking if it was Green? She’d smiled, “No.”  “Is it Oolong?” again she smiled “No.”

I know my tea’s a little so I asked, “Is it Chai?” smiling she replied, “No.”

Our instructor appeared a little evasive to my queries. finally several classes later when she realized I would keep asking her, she gave me the Korean name of it. which of course I’d never heard of, and had difficulty pronouncing. she could have told me the tea I just drank was high grade liquid plutonium and I wouldn’t have known it.

I was just curious, what’s the secret or mystery? I think you should ask what you put in your body. I know this…..I felt great after drinking it. most likely I felt euphoric due to the combined effect of the yoga class and the tea. I was told it would help me cleanse my system. It tasted ok. and seemed to contain a large amount of caffeine. I was up, feeling great. without the jitters. on my walk home from class I would be smiling from ear to ear.

Yep, I was extremely happy with the results of signing up to take yoga.

Except.

There was one thing, that kinda bothered me about the tea circle. after we’d finish our tea. our instructor would ask for a volunteer to wash the cups. in the sink, in the bathroom.

The bathroom? not really that sanitary. still, I complied with the request to clean the teacups.

No one else ever volunteered to clean up after tea. Except me

It was as if the instructor had asked, “OK, I need someone to go behind enemy lines, this is a dangerous mission and you might not make it back.”

After every class I’d finish my tea, look up, and people would be heading for the door. so? I’d volunteer again.

This one evening after cleaning the cups I asked our instructor why no one else would take a turn?

Looking me in the eyes, she held both my wrists, spoke softly while bowing to me, “Cleaning is good for the soul.”

Oh OK…got it, good for the soul….except.

I kept dwelling on it. the harder I tried to let it go? the more resentful I grew.  I’d look at the rest of my yoga practitioners, hoping that one of them would feel the need to clean their soul.

C’mon! Somebody else take a friggin turn. I’ve been cleaning these cups for months now. I’ve got a job. I didn’t sign up to wash your dishes. for goodness sakes someone else take a Turn!

Breathe! Breathe Dammit!

On the day of my last class. things had gotten weird, like things do from time to time.

Seriously needing to cease the perturbations rolling around in my head before I started flipping over tables and breathing fire.

I was greeted by my instructors smile and hug. I warmly hugged her back.

Then I removed my coat and shoes, bowing before entering the room.

This is done to show respect for the space and keep the positive energy flowing.

I went to the front of the room and placed my mat on the floor.

Class began.

I closed my eyes, and let the negative energy leave my body by slowly exhaling, then slowly Inhaling good positive energy.

Yeah…..that’s it, ahhhhh, the day’s troubles began to lift and drift away. Leaving me with a serene feeling.

I would stretch and hold positions to facilitate flow and energy. I would sit in the lotus position and listen to myself breathe.

I would visualize myself beside a river at the side of a mountain. I was at that moment at peace. it was beautiful.

Class ended.

We all sat in a circle, our instructor began to pour us our communal tea. We passed the cups bowing to one another as a sign of respect. I felt good. Until I looked up to see the last of my class exiting the room.

I collected the cups and headed for the bathroom.

Closing the door behind me. looking into the mirror. I held a cup in my left hand and let it drop onto the floor. It shattered. I lifted another and let it fall to the floor.

Then I dropped several more cups into the toilet.

Someone knocked on the door. It was my instructor, asking me if I was alright?

I opened the door and bowed to her.

“Robert? What has happened?”

I told her that the perturbation of my mind had caused me to go berserk.

I bowed again, and moved passed her carefully, After which I put my shoes on. And went home.

We all have to chart our own paths.

My path was not doing her dishes.

I throughly enjoyed taking yoga. There were lots of positive benefits.

I would recommend it to everyone.

There are many different forms of yoga out there. I just need to find one that doesn’t require cleaning the cups.

Letter

 

Dear Son,

I have received your first letter to me and I am extremely well pleased at your obvious ability to write a most intelligent and interesting letter with no spelling errors. you go to the head of the class in my opinion. It was good of you to write me and I appreciate it.

I am enclosing your driver’s license and the original letter from your lawyer. He has been paid.

I am very happy to hear things are going well with you in the scholastical line. I know you will not become too optimistic regarding the understanding traits of some of these teachers. I always knew I was in good shape during the semesters, but when the day of atonement arrived I was given the bum’s rush. I am pulling for you.

I do not wish to lecture to you in my letter and I shall make this the last time I will even discuss such delicate subjects. All I want you to do is be happy, have a good time. and with the way you spend money you are going to need to be in the mid to high six figure earning bracket. as you know the first three figures don’t count and you can readily see six figures is getting up there.

Rarely does a young man have any consideration in the spending of OPM and in the event you don’t know what OPM means, Your Grandfather would have told you that OPM means  other people’s money. During the balance of this term, I am going to send you money weekly, as we all know, ? , don’t we, if you are given two weeks play money, as well as money for food and clothing at one time, it won’t even last a week.

Money will always be a problem to you. the best way to be is to not spend what you haven’t got. now as long as I have money, I will endeavour to provide adequately for you.

I suppose there are lots of things about which I could lecture you. but a character your age usually knows the answers so I will not enliven this letter with a lot of criticism especially since I truly feel I have nothing to criticise your goodself.

Matters are pretty much status quo back home. Your Mother works too hard, and worries too much. fortunately for us all she still gets out to get her hair done, and shop as much as she pleases, so she seems to be happy. She is going to have to find a new butcher as my meat was tough tonight. but we had a little caviar which freshened up the meal a bit. we will probably get to the ice cream and fudge sauce, a delicacy that seems to be served only whilst you are in the area.

Your Mother wanted more room in the basement for her things, so I sold the pool table and the guys who bought it nearly busted it as they were trying to get it up the stairs. She felt you would be disappointed and I told her that you would understand!

My Old Man used to say to me, “Take care of your Mother.” and I know you realize I can take care of myself at the present time. and who knows? I may become so damned senile, you may be presented with the burden of taking care of me some years hence.

Trouble is the easiest thing in the world to get into and expensive to get out of, at all times. Please, it is tantamount that you follow the straight and narrow path until you are on your own and can make your own bail.

Assuring you of my continued vigorous protection of your interests. again may I say it was good of you to write. and when you are down to your last sawbuck, you only need to call me and if I have it you will have it.

Lots of Love from

Father

P.S.  That bit about the pool table was a dream.