Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Sliding In To Shortstop

You're gonna think I'm making this up. I don't have the imagination for it.

An old friend was over a couple of weeks ago, digging up some plants for her yard. She noticed two plastic skulls placed very tastefully beside a fancy palm.

"Oh, I forgot that you collect skulls," she began. 

"Who don't?"was my obvious response.

"Do you want two more?"

Of course I told her that I did. I don't remember being very excited about it. The things are all over the house. It's not so much that I collect them as it is that they have accumulated. You know how some folks don't take down their Christmas lights? I'm more a halloween guy.

The next morning as I went out the side door, I stumbled over a grocery bag, folded over. I assumed that one of my kind neighbors was worried again that the old guy would starve with all the restaurants boarded up.

The clunk when I put the bag on the kitchen counter made me think that it was just canned goods.

No sir! When I opened the bag and peered in, there were two skulls looking up at me. Not plastic, halloween-variety skulls. Two skulls! Real, human skulls.

Last night, just as I was falling asleep, I hear a very odd, but very human voice from the the other bedroom, the room where one of the skulls now "rests".

Nobody. Nobody. Nobody.

More likely no body. No body. No body- right?

All night it went on. It seemed like every time I fell asleep, this weird, human voice would start. I finally convinced myself that it was some exotic tree frog just out the window. I had to!

Half way through pecking this out, it began again. I ran into the room, scared to death that I was confronting my Vincent Price nightmare and remembered the landline phone set that someone had just given me.

From the cardboard box, no battery. No battery. No battery.

Thank goodness. The skulls stay. Not sure about the phone.

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Break, Broke, Broken

Nobody can lead everybody. I'm convinced of that. I'm an anarchist at heart but I certainly don't preach anarchy. I'm painfully aware that there are lots of people out there who don't care if someone else's baby goes hungry as long as they get to drive a Lexus. Sadly, there are even more folks who don't mind my house burning down if they end up with a new Rolex and a smart TV. 

Thankfully most of us fall well within those extremes.

We can't make up for all of the hate and evil of our ancestors. We can change everything that we can agree is unfair in our present culture. 

Since we're not going to agree on what is, and what is not fair, we're gonna have to find leaders who are willing to help us find compromise. Leaders who are capable of explaining those compromises to us. Leaders with the compassion to accept the barrage of criticism of all extremes.

The good ones, the kind ones, the smart ones- they are well aware of the image of Jesus on a cross. President Kennedy's brains splattered all over a pink suit. 

No bad cop thinks he's a bad cop. No looter doubts that he deserves what he can carry. No elected official thinks that trading stocks based on insider information is any different than taking home a few pens from the office.

Seems to me we have two choices. We can find and encourage the best folks who are willing to sacrifice to lead us in change or we can watch it all burn down.

Pray for peace. Search for truth. Settle for love.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Broken Hip

To my casual friends I'm a luddite. Truth is, I love technology. The technology that makes my life better. The idea of having all the music at my elbow, digitally, is wonderful. Lasik surgery may be the best thing that ever happened to me, at least where I kept my pants on. Not a day goes by without me cheering central heat & air conditioning.

Now, I'm not so big on texting. Okay, boomer. Seems to me that if texting had come first, we would have considered telephone conversation a miracle. Wouldn't that be the logical technological order?

Really! You can actually hear them speak! Brilliant!

As you can imagine I love FaceTime. Zoom.

Have I mentioned that I have little affection for nostalgia? I like good movies. Interesting literature. Passionate music. Dirty sex. Oh, sure, I like hot rods that are pretty. I don't want to be shifting any gears, though, and I surely don't want to go fast!

Yeah, I'll only wear Jack Purcells. That's because James Dean wore them. If somebody comes along with more class than James Dean, maybe I'll consider a change.

Another mis-conception, I suspect, at least among ex-wives, is my problem growing up. Again, I'll take the parts that I like- going to bed when I want, finding the funny parts, talking to animals and crying when I'm tired- and I'll have nothing to do with the rest. You know, wearing ties, nose to the grindstone, get ahead.

My goal, if I have a goal, is to have done more good than harm when the score is tallied. To have used all the love up.

Monday, May 18, 2020

What Sparkles

Maybe beauty is just fleeting because of my attention span. Turns out I'm an introvert. Wouldn't take much to push me over to hermit. 

Now, we don't organize. The other loners haven't authorized me to speak for us as a group. I do believe that I speak for all of us, or most of us, anyway, when I tell you that we don't want to be alone. We're just no good at the alternatives.

If I hadn't carried a guitar around for all these years, I would have had no life at all. Sometimes it's hard to tell if I'm bragging or complaining.

No club, lone wolf.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Humanity and Arrogance

Marching towards the inevitable void, I recognize my expertise. I know exactly as much on "what comes next" as some monk in robes who sells books on the subject. The secret, if I might refer to it as a secret, is an authoritative tone. Bluster, whisper- it really doesn't matter. Just tell 'em what they want to hear and paint a reassuring picture.

Of course I don't really march. Anywhere. Towards anything. I'm more a shuffler.

Having lived through the gas crisis, Y2K, disco and one other toilet paper shortage, I feel almost serene in the midst of this pandemic. I do stay awake worrying about the ones who are truly suffering. Like everyone else, I hope this ends soon.

Here's to a kinder, slower, more compassionate future. If you vote, vote for peace and love. If you pray, pray for understanding and kindness.

Friday, May 8, 2020

One For The Team

Once you've encountered truth, hokum is hard to swallow. I've tried to tell the truth, as I know it, for as long as I can remember. 

Has it paid off?

Well, not financially. Certainly not socially. Romantically? Are you new here?

I'm not bragging here. I just never got the hang of lying.

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Trying To Get Back Home (The Last Obsession)

Pink walls and shiny pillows and a gardenia blooming right outside the front door.

All I've ever wanted is to get back home. Wherever that is. Whatever that is.