Luck, I have come to realize, is relative. I've already lived a long time, met the sweetest people, slept with the best dogs, looked at the most stunning art and listened to the prettiest music. I'm not bragging, I'm gushing,
Oh, I could rattle off specifics. You would hardly be impressed. One man's trash..., you know.
At the tippy top of my list, though, is knowing just how lucky I am.
A certain maudlin demeanor has set in on my leisurely existence. I cry over Publix commercials, natural disasters, left-over dog hair and Luke The Drifter records. I should be ashamed to tell you how excited I am about "God Friended Me" starting a new season. I am, but not much.
Maybe I'll get through the evening news with a Champagne Kir Royale and wait for a good Subaru ad to come on.
There was a time when my every waking thought was about cars. Well, to be honest, there was the occasional stray fantasy featuring Brigitte Bardot or one of those peroxide blonde chorus girls from Club Lido, but I could dispose of those with a dose of manual dexterity.
Generally, though, it was all hot rods. By the time that I was legally able to drive, I was on my third car- a 1932 Ford, three window coupe with a Corvette engine. I most certainly would have killed myself except for the fact that it usually wasn't running. I have no mechanical aptitude. That has only been clear to me over the last ten years or so.
Now I drive what is likely to be the last automobile that I will ever own- my Aunt Jo's hand- me-down, 2001 Toyota Camry. What a fall from grace!
I couldn't be more pleased with myself.
What is it about men and cars? Men and guns? Men and war? What is it about men?
Everybody needs more love. It all seems so very simple. Somehow we seem to have created grand problems to make life difficult and painful for that path from birth to the grave. Worse, we have dragged all other creatures along.
After that first bite, we just couldn't put that apple down. From "Great googly moogly, she's naked!" to " I believe a half million smackers should get my kid into U.S.C.".
That therapist asked, " Could you consider that you're more sentimental than she is?"
There may be no more daunting a task than to make up a "thank you" list. Looks like I may never win an oscar. Sad as that makes me, it's a big load off of my mind. My teachers and mentors, partners, bosses, relatives, lovers, roommates, wives, friends, gurus and neighbors make a list that is unwieldy. Add in dogs and cats, goldfish and assorted rodents and reptiles, and I have a list that nobody has the patience to abide.
You know who you are.
Most likely I have never thanked you properly. Acknowledging my social awkwardness, I will make no excuse. I have a sustained debt of gratitude that is no burden at all. It is an honor.
Don't think I don't know that you risked plenty to back me up; that you could have hired someone easier; that I'm difficult. Now, I'm aware that the dogs and cats and most of the relatives were in a more precarious position- not to mention the wives.
Oh, I know why you performed with me and I knew all along why I was invited to your party. Maybe I didn't say anything because I didn't want to embarrass you.
Yeah, I know. That's not it.
Keep an eye on me. I'm doing the best I can. I love you.
Well, sir, everything seems to be making sense and I'm not buying green bananas. I suppose that if you have a life plan, the plan has an end. Of course, I've never had a plan and I'm not likely to devise one now.
The benefit, if there is a benefit, to this aging stuff is that nobody will be surprised when I kick a bucket.
I suppose I should have paid more attention along the way, but I'll be darned if I can tell you why.
Just when I thought that I had run out of heroes- ker wham!- Greta Thunberg!
Now, if you come around here often, you've gotten used to me whining about the demise of my beloved rock'n'roll. Okay, let's be honest- you're bored sick of it. Geezus, it hung around for decades. It was meant to last for a year or two!
Not all of my heroes have come from rock'n'roll, of course. In fact, Roy Rogers was the first. It doesn't escape me that he wore glitter suits and played guitar while he sang. In what for me was a logical progression, Elvis, and then the Beatles, provided most of my inspiration for most of the rest of my life.
While the trvialist ninnies argue over exactly what event signaled the official end of the fab four, we can all agree that they have been gone for nearly half a century, with only half of them walking on the planet. I have been rudderless for more than half my life. My long life.
Of course I have writers and race car drivers, poets, hookers and sons of god; doctors and scientists, movie stars, cult leaders and ventriloquists whom I tend to put up on wobbly pedestals. I try to talk like them and dress like them and comb my hair like they do. Well, I don't comb my hair all that often, but, if I did, I would try to comb it like James Dean combed his.
Finally, it seems only fitting that I am thunderstruck.
This is the real thing. This is a hero.
Greta Thunberg is the sixteen year old Swedish student who began school strikes in 2018 to bring attention to the climate catastrophe that the planet faces. She is currently in the U.S. speaking to various groups and organizations to bring awareness to a wider audience. I feel the same excitement that coursed through my sixteen year old body when the Beatles first came to the states.
As you might guess, a great number of American adults are finding time to ridicule, harass and even threaten this brave, young prophet. Oh, it's not strictly an American thing. Jerks and jackasses from around the world, who happen to submit to profit over science, are in on the opposition.
The wise sixteen year old takes it as a sign that she's dealing with truth. I do, too.
The search feels like such a lonely endeavor, and yet, it's all the same search. If you're naive enough, you'll never lose your innocence. Of course, you will just seem dumb to most of the folks you meet. I have suggested that we leave the decisions to the poets. I'm gonna guess that that will be considered naive.
My jokes and my philosophy share brainwave space. It's handy. Of course my favorite comedians don't tell jokes. Never did.
Oh, I ramble. That's what I do. You don't get good at rambling, but you don't get tired of it, either.
Give us peace on earth and end this dreadful, dreadful war.
The morbid angels keep an eye on them. Once they slumped on green benches. Now they belly up to the bar at the Emerald. No rush. Bars are dark and the good ones are cold. It's all part of the preparation, I suppose.
It's all about kindness. Pity the ones who find out too late.
What key? What's the difference? Sing with all your heart and mean every word of it.