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Monday, December 29, 2008

The time of the Ouroboros...

The snake eating it's tail.

In gnosticism, the serpent symbolized eternity and the soul of the world.

In your time, it is simply the end of one thing and the beginning of another. No matter how tired, or cliched.

The end of the year. The start of the new one.

Old ideas...time to discard.

Today may be the first day of your new life, but you've already fucked it up.

Need to keep it in perspective.

Went to a meeting tonight with your oldest friend. In his $40 thousand BMW.

You farted in it.

But the seats were heated.


It counts for a lot.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas to all...

You don't expect pious sentiment.

Not from here.

You sleep in, 12:30-text messages wishing you a bon-nuit from your twins.

In your refrigerator you have diet-coke and butter.

Last night you realized not even fast-food joints were open. 1:30- Whataburger-closed; Jack-in the Box-closed, Sonic-closed.

You had 7-11 burritos for dinner.

The bad thing about the restaurant business. If you are upscale, you are open when others are not, then when they are closed, you are hungry.

You will have to go through it again today. No one out. Ghost town-family time. The time you don't have.

You found yourself gently rubbing the bottom of your ring finger with your thumb. You smile.
Old habit. From then.

Your wedding band was loose, you would rub it with your thumb.

Absently. Comforting.

You have been without a wedding ring for almost nine years. You rubbed your finger for five.

You know you are alone.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

You can't lose what you don't put in the middle. -Rounders

You play it close to the vest, or try to. You have to engage the people you wait on, and that is becoming a major chore.

Dance, bear-boy, tell me of your 'specials.' Cling-a-ling. Your cymbals chime.

And you sweat-they have the heat cranked, as well as two fireplaces blazing- you feel like you're running a fucking fever, and then, at half past nine-it broke, it was over.

Even though back at the old job tonight- much better time management/cost effectiveness/bullshit quotient- actually good to be back in the dysfunctional mix-you were still 'working'.

It seems you now have issue with this concept.

It pains you to do it at all.

There, you said it. Are you lazy? You'll buy it. Do you want what you want without having to work for it? Pretty much.

Weary sums it up fairly well. A general malaise that covers you like molasses with a bad attitude.

It was Christmas Eve, after all.

Your youngest angel called to wish you a Merry Christmas- You hoped hers was the best.

You're sure it was.

She has new Daddy throwing her first expensive Christmas at her. Her Husky had five puppies last week. She's busy. She's happy.

But she still called.

You guess that counts for more than any gift, ever could.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

When the first baby laughed for the first time, the laugh broke into a thousand pieces and they all went skipping about and that was the beginning...

...of fairies.- James Mathew Barrie. The author of Peter Pan.

My daughters. If you have read this blog for any length of time, you will have read of them.

All of them; including the vampiric 26-year old. She was a baby once. And at a time, held her clothes to my face, inhaling her scent, and crying in reply.

That was a long time ago.

I say this with tongue somewhat-in-cheek. She is stunning, her Irish and Hispanic heritage mixing for a truly wondrous product, and I am proud she is mine.

But she is her Mother's child.

She is vindictive. I will be dead before she forgives. You'd think she was gypsy.

The thing is...I love them all. And I remember their births, each and every one, different and wonderful and frightening.

All of them, will always be my angels, even if they think their old-man is not-worth-it.

My 18-year-old twins think I am urban weird...whatever that means, somewhat cool, I guess, but I relate more to each of them than to anyone else, and they are my princesses and for the youngest I am still "Daddy".

A title I can never give up.

Just because you got the monkey off your back doesn't mean the circus has left town.- George Carlin

7:30 a.m. Wide awake., another double. Much like Sunday. Another meat grinder day.

No. Not gonna happen. The wall. You hit it.

You dial the number.

It's too early for the real managers, but you know one of the kitchen managers is there.

You ask for a manager.

"I'm a can I help you."

You almost expect him to interject, no really, I'm a manager, seriously.

You tell him who you are. What were you thinking?

You tell him Sunday ate every bit of your last lunch. He laughed.

You are not coming in.

"Ever," he replies? He is not laughing, now.

That's right. You're through. He stammers, unsure of himself.

Your last job welcomes you back in time for Christmas Eve. You are concerned. There are things you need to get to speed on, that you have forgotten.

They will come back. As will the cadaverous hostess, turned to pasture, the one that truly hates you. You said you would never be back. Right.

Another meat grinder day, but one you can live with.

There is ebb and flow. Instead of all flow.

So lesson learned. Money does not count for serenity and once again you are so reminded, you do not play well with others.

You are not a corporate player. It will not happen, so just stop it.

You will do your best, while you hash the rest of this out, to cause no further injury, while you lick your wounds.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Sometimes you just have to pee in the sink.- Charles Bukowski

Ain't it so.

You put up with it.

You pay the bills. And it takes a toll. You feel it; longer than you should, feel quicker to realizing that what you do for a living, is starkly comparable to a trained Ukrainian bear.

You are too weary to cry.

You knew two restaurants ago, the same 'concept' blink, blink, corporate "Stepford" restaurant.

Why did you think it would be different? Same Daddy.

And you quit his baby girl once, then married up, and now looks as though you're getting cold feet.

Why are you surprised?

And one day you get a good look, in total clarity, at what you really do, for a living. The entire charade.

You know that you do not care a pinch-of-salted shit how this person's spinach salad tasted. If it tasted yummy, you might make a 2 dollar tip, a whole five if you really gave it to her. The whole nine yards...if you haven't been triple sat and can now become the 'auto waiter', simply throw food at their gaping maws, smacking your lips as they order, showing them, they are the know.

You make yourself sick.

Her water- no ice, with just tasted bad. May I have free 6.00 bottled bullshit? But of course madame, je suis imbecile...

It is probably safer you do not carry a firearm, anymore.

It can put you in a stupor.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The trouble with unemployment is that the minute you wake up in the morning, you're on the job. - Slappy White

Not yet, but the writing's on the wall.

I can read.

So when the hammer drops, what do I do?

"Being unemployed is not good for an actor. No it isn't, no matter how unsuccessful you are, because you always remember getting fired from all the restaurant's. You remember that stuff, very, very, strongly."-Phillip Seymour Hoffman

I think I have done my time serving other people over-priced food.

So...gets me back to the list. See if I can write down every 'career' I ever had: Journalist; waiter, bartender, fisherman, dish-washer, office worker, temp-work, soldier, oil-field worker, rigger, black marketeer, record promoter, Cadillac salesman, soldier, fry cook, day-laborer, phone solicitor, hotel desk clerk, deck-hand on Alaska tour boat, espresso maker, line-cook, apprentice pressman, press operator, retail manager, brain injury technician, aircraft-parts department manager, door-to-door salesman, police officer, private investigator, security officer, corrections officer, bail bonds agent and real estate administrative assistant; and a couple of them my children do not need to be made aware of.

There may be a few that were missed.

I have even shoveled sand out of a grain silo.

Seems I have a stability issue and am not cool with authority.

Who knew?

I don't want to be John O'Brien...

No. It's too sad.

Had his novel. Leaving Las Vegas. Published the novel in 1990.

A movie exec found it in a used bookstore and optioned the rights. Probably in the dollar bin.

It was made into a film in 1995.

Two weeks after learning his novel was to be made into a film, he shot himself.

Jesus. That makes me look stable.

I don't have five years.

Friday, December 19, 2008

The Man...

He is a man of thirty-five, but looks fifty. He is bald, has varicose veins and wears spectacles, or would wear them if his only pair were not chronically lost. If things are normal with him, he will be suffering from malnutrition, but if he has recently had a lucky streak, he will be suffering from a hangover. At present it is half past eleven in the morning, and according to his schedule he should have started work two hours ago; but even if he had made any serious effort to start he would have been frustrated by the almost continuous ringing of the telephone bell, the yells of the baby, the rattle of an electric drill out in the street, and the heavy boots of his creditors clumping up the stairs. The most recent interruption was the arrival of the second post, which brought him two circulars and an income tax demand printed in red. Needless to say this person is a writer.
George Orwell quotes (English Novelist and Essayist, 1903-1950)

Really cheap shots are the one's you take when no one else is in the room.

You are almost fifty. Whatever that means. But for you, it means you've lost a step, and you unfortunately know it.

Sweet suffering Jaysus...your body; it's grown, and softened. And done things. You will never be chiseled again.

At one time you modeled. Years ago.

Quietly and desperately to pay the rent, but so what?

That won't happen again.

One day-you wake up, and realize with blinding clarity,that it has never happened for you.

Just like the monkey at the zoo-masturbating against the glass- "Nor will this ever happen for you!"

None of it-the picket fence, the faultless marriage, the 'Maytag' way of life.

The success (defined by others) that you were denied. Much of which is your own fault-and you know it.

They say being fired is nature's way of telling you you had the wrong job.

At one time you wanted to play blues-guitar.

Really, really wanted it.

You would practice in front of your baby in your eyes as you sang to her.

Her mother...your biggest fan.

The memory...fuck.

The haunting.

Your angel was pre-raised on Eric Clapton and Stevie Ray. Headphones on the belly of the most beautiful woman you will ever know. You read his autobiography to the belly. It was good.

And the belly kicked.

And deserved. More than you could give.

Your daughter will always be your special angel for too many reasons.

You go through your motorcycle-drinking-blues guitar-playing, power slide into 40. Holy Shit. Streak... baby daughter- hot wife -great job and she walks away.

Are you kidding?

And takes your heart on a cocktail fork. Nice.

The boob-job for your ex-wife, payed for by your ex-boss, as well as all her new furniture, colored your outlook for a long time. Damn good job though.

But what could you do? You failed to provide.

The 64,000 in back child support, delivered certified mail by the State's Attorney Generals Office to the double-wide in the boonies outside San Marcos, may have had something to do with it.

Hard to find because of the Cedar. Wind could be heard everywhere. Deer, your largest neighbors.

Scorpions you attacked, in the huge mound of undefined earth ,adjacent to the front yard, defending hearth, and home. Sons-of-bitches were everywhere.

As were the deer, and oak trees.

You told your step-son, eight-years old, her son, about the Hill Country, dreaded, weenie-dogs.

His room in the double wide had a window, the bunk beads he 'had' to have, taking up all the space in the room. The wind moaned outside it. There was scratching on the window.

"There are packs of wild dogs in these lands, lad...some of which you may hear on a warm summer night." His eyes would grow.

"Don't be afraid. But do not listen to them, for whatever they promise. And no matter what you do, never, ever, open the window.

They are small, but be warned they are clever. They like to stand on the shoulders of one-another, and try to get in through young-boys windows. And once they do...?"

He would gulp, pulling the blanket to his chin.

The next day; after navigating our way for 1.5 miles down rutted, potholed hell, to the county road, taking him to school-he saw them.

At the intersection.

Three dachshunds. Seriously.

Staring at the car motionless as it passed.

He flipped.

I laughed long and acted like I knew... and he hated me for it.

But the whole thing. Represented what? Some kind of man-vs-nature bullshit, Americana-musician-frontier?


Cheap housing for white folks.

Just like you though- buying into the dream by representing the dream -hand-sanding the baby's crib; work boots, Wranglers, Shiner-Bock after work -every day for three-months. That was one smooth crib. It was given away, once she outgrew it.

Even had a pickup. Sometimes-in Hill Country-spring weather, it was grand.

Was anyone watching?

Then practicing guitar. And you do it...all of it. For her.

You breathe for her.

The mother of your daughter? Always.

The love of your life?

Regrettably, but nonetheless.

The only woman who ever, really had you. And you would say it was all okay, the past forgotten, for just one night...pathetic.

"I didn't sign up for this." Parting shot. Door- literally hitting her in her perfectly-cheerleader heart-shaped-ass.

Exactly the type that her next five attracted.

Can we all exhale?

Your marriage crashed...bewildered and you stumbled, and you shattered your left hand. Wearing a space suit for some bullshit micro-processing company in Austin. No more guitar. No more motorcycle. Almost lost all four fingers.

They hurt when it rains.

But you wore tools. And got to work at six.

Steve McQueen would have kicked you. Coffee shops-lounging on sofa's, collecting checks and chain smoking. Crashing on pain killers outside.

Held together by pins and pain-killers for six months. Law suit-Doctor's-Attorney's- You are fucking drained.. Two years. Depositions. Bullshit.

Many joints still immobile.

Never again. Ever. You would never again play along and sing with Jeff Healey; however badly, but for the possibility of slide, but that would be to much of an after-school special.

Rather wallow in it.

You live alone, which you actually enjoy, but are starting to wonder.

Yeah, you think about dying alone.

And it scares you so badly you resort to known methods to put it to sleep.

You hate your job. I mean you loathe getting up and putting on this corporate attire. It weighs a psychic ton.

You 'smile' for a living.

You trudge through your day trying to act as though you care, but everyone around you knows the difference.

You are a trained monkey. And the demands of the job are such that you wake up knowing the aches and pains of an imagined rodeo clown. After work you have to stop and buy ointment and powders for sensitive areas.

"Yes, how much is this cream designed for swamp ass?"

Someone suggests Yoga. You suggest they go fuck themselves.

And you realize you wish to pursue your 'dream' job.

What do you do?

Go through a very dark place, allowing destructive habits to grow a few talons, but then starting over, knowing you never wish to do this again, and it comes to you.

You are one-unhappy motherfucker. You are absolutely no fun to be around. You make Eeyore look like Peewee Herman.

You start going down the list; the 'perfect' job, for you.

Having a large selection of been there done that's- while you make the list-you realize you are up against a wall.

It comes to you.

To be paid to be yourself; or paid for what you represent, so that you may sustain yourself and all past due debts and obligations.

Wow, I guess if you are a professional, a Doctor, Lawyer or other individual with letters behind your name, I suppose that sustains you.

But what of us?

The ones who are never quite certain where we fit...the one's who hear the internal voice-" No...not this...God I hate these people. I really do hate my job. What the fuck."

The one's who know we are writers, or artists, or actors with our own voice, not someone else's.

Journalism is dictation bound by archaic rules of grammar and 'news', held together by strange dysfunctional hierarchies.

I'd rather cut off a foot than do that again. But- I loved the act of writing- although whatever I had written was so badly maligned by my publisher it was hardly my work after all.

Maybe I just dig typing.

Monday, December 15, 2008

What if I was behind anything you had to offer?


Let them in Peter...let them make some noise, although they are very tired.

It is cold. It is raining. It is nearing Christmas.

Remember where the broken bodies lie.

Tell them how they are missed.

With us down here.

I almost quit today. Done. Finished.

My manager, hearing I would not be in for the evening. Big exhale.

I know when I am not up to 100 percent.

I am pretty much, never say die.

I don't know that I can do this, anymore. It really is a tortuous grind. A Goddamned beating. Hi, how are you? Mean it ya...jesus...I am all about you.

It really can be hard.

I shit you not.

It made me so much, so much fucking sorry.

For a living.

A Bus to Maine? Washing dishes? Why the fuck not?

Throwing myself on the mercy of the language. Using a passable intelligence. Could work.

A guest made fun of me, yesterday. Not that that is unusual. Stop it.

I'm not for everyone. But it is a beating.

But it was a version of hell I'm not familiar with.

It did not fail, however, to end. It endured. For the longest.

I assure you.

People normally enjoy my stupid ass.

If yall could just laugh...

A middle aged black woman, for what it's worth. Table-all black. We want butter...wif dis bread.

Mo' buttah'..surving utensils.

All this... every time.

Know how to never make a canoe not tip? Paint it black.

I'm not fucking kidding.

Passed to me by a waiter going to the game. Fuck this. This is your's.

I had packed up her 12 or 16 box of "I'll have some of that..." The matriarch of the table. Sweet creeping Christ.

"We want med rare-we want well done-at the same time. And hot...goddamnit-these potatoes are cold. "

Asked me what box the mushrooms were in. Like I fuckin' knew. Two, three.

"I'm not sure, one of them."

See you next tuesday. Fuck me.

Just fuck me hard....Jesus. These are the tears I kissed.

I had not bothered to label the damned things. I had grown tired.

"duh..." she replied.

I'm not kidding. She said it again. Then wanted seperate checks."It's his berfday...
I'm paying for him. Them two's together, and them two, and him, he's a baby."

"Duh..." she drew it out. They all laughed.

Wow. I was stunned.

Making fun of a middle aged white public.

Maybe I had it coming.

She wore me out. How many trips...?

I was just slogging it out.

The trenches.

They're not for me, anymore.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Vet's I know...

I so appreciate you all.

Some, retired and earned it, others cashiered and fucked.

I know that your service allowed me the freedom to live as I did. I know that my service does not make it even-steven.

Sorry. Not the best troop, but I had some of the best leaders.

SSGT Roy Fyffe, Capt. Wild Bill Wilson, and the rest of the 1/16.

You know what?

Okay, there will be more.

Just thinking. Look what the crazy dragged in.

I mentioned you. My oldest. I mention you with venom. Do not be misinformed.

I am pissed. I love you, but I am pissed.

I have made amends. I have apologized. I have paid blood. And yet, it continues....

What more do you want?

The Chilean three...

There are three of you in Chile.

You have read this blog. I want to hear from you.

Why do you read this? Who are you?

Pass this on to the others...there will be nothing further, until then.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

A cane non magno saepe tenetur aper - A boar is often held by a not-so-large dog. (Ovid)

I met her, after my last stay at the V.A.

My God, she smiled as she walked in. It burned and I knew it.

I sold Mercedes and Cadillacs.

She-Art major at local college. She smiled- Short hair.


She worked titles. Classes in computers.

I'm not ready to write about it yet. Not entirely.

But let it be known, she was the 'shit'. If anybody ever had "me" completely it was she.

Notes early in the morning, oh my god...

She wrote me a letter-explaining in two pages, telling me to leave if I wanted, as she suffered from Alopecia, and was completely bald, save for a quaint quail patch...I used to kiss it

...loving who she was... beautiful and smooth. Holding each other in a rainstorm, early morning, wrapped in fluffy robes, sitting on the porch. Coffee.

My God-that was the most courageous thing I had ever read.

It truly struck me.

She was open-she was she. She was raw.

After eight years- if there are any feelings left-she owns most of them.

My heart...too much, for too little.

The sad shit-she knows it, and cares-not a bit.

But if she did, she'd never show it.

Plans on re-marrying. Wow.

Good for her.

Our daughter: my last princess. The one I see holding us all together in later-years. For whatever reason...a sense of unity, out of love, because she is who she is...

She and her sisters. Except for the last one, or first, depending on which end you are on.

This is six or maybe seven-trial runs for mom, not the first proposal...just the first she said yes to. But not the last to steal her heart. I was not that lucky.

Known him since high school. Excellent credit. Top notch guy. Has money.

For now.

He is a contractor. Overseas. He will soon be unemployed in Central Texas.

Like 10 thousand other guys.

Three years tops.

I just don't have it in me.

Not anymore.

It's all inadequate, from here on in.

I didn't plan on writing any of this.

Friday, December 12, 2008

A lot of people with damn good sense...

As of today, there are 1,877 readers of this blog in the U.S.

Second runner up-is Costa Rica at 51. Awesome.

Holy crap, up from nowhere, beating the U.K. at 44... 32 in Canada, 11 in Spain (Come on guys-our hearts are in the right place...tappas baby...and passion....and heartfelt slams...,)

Germany- goosestepped in to place with ten readers, as does our beer drinking brethren in Australia. ( I would love to be read in a pub in the shadow of an opal mine.)

But the most mystifying, are the three readers in Ireland. Please tell me.

After all, it was from you people from whence I came. Not too sure about the genealogy...heard a cleric in the 1700's in England-excommunicated and de-frekin' frocked for public drunkeness.

Then a privateer, for the Queen of England, in Bermuda. At war with the dutch...a statue exists, from what I heard.

Died attacking a Dutch warship-drunk and unarmed, just seriously pissed. His first mate had to hate his position.

Do ya know each other? There has to be more than three of ya...there has to be.

(Come on, just set this as your home page-you don't have to read it.)

I would give an organ to have your readership improve.

How's that for shameless pandering?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

There are many rooms in the mansion-HST

We go down different roads... sometimes because they're just fun.

If you can balance that guardrail, maybe scrape up an inner knee while you're doing it, and come out the other side-just because it made your heart beat a little bit faster, then you know the call.

And this call is not safe.

Some of you retards run with bulls.

Wild bulls. In a foreign country.

And you are an ill bunch of people.

Some of you take it beyond acceptable into hat is off to all of you.

Others go for the deep physical-travelling at high, and bad speeds...just because.

Stepping off a radio tower into space.

Now what is fucking wrong with you?

The one's I most envy- the one's who make the grade, on time, and believe in it.

How do you do it?

How do you stand it...the same thing, everyday. Maybe a different color shirt, but you know what to expect.

Therein is the attraction? The predictable? I have to look at you again, day after day, until it is over.

No wonder I watch from down here.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

My Fathers eye's...

They were a particular shade of brown. Shards of green and gold. They could pierce, like flaming effing arrows, but look kind, while he was beating the shit... dead out of you.

Let me mention. I wanted, so badly to have his approval.

A smile.

A pat on the head.

That look.

Knowing his Dad blasted a 30.06 round through his skull and past a hooker; past his little brother's head, asleep upstairs.

But wanting that approval, all the same.

But no.

He could make me feel like the kicks he was giving me, were truly my fault. That somehow, at five years old I deserved to be thrown to the cold linoleum and kicked and cursed, but I remember more his smell...pipe smoke; apples, scotch, Vick's, Aramis and coffee...


"What is it buddy?"

"Let's talk about something."

"Sure pal, what about?"

"Tigers, Dad, let's talk about Tigers..."

And I would sit on his lap.

Expanding the 'underside'...

According to the tracker on this website, there are a few, little more than a hand full actually, of countries with two readers per country of this blog. Most countries have quite a few, of which I am entirely grateful. Big nod to my family members in the U.K. Nice to

If I needed to take this on the road...could I set up an underside network? An underground underside railroad...pop in, stay a couple of days, write about you, on about my business.

And Bob's your effin' uncle.

Expect a bigger push from my friends in Spain...I know you read this. When I eat, I think of you. Cafe Madrid-Dallas.

When I dare to love, you are there as well. Just not recently.

We share the passion. Please write back.

Out of about 2,000, that's not that many, but my question is, not just for the countries with two readers (Thailand, Switzerland, Slovenia, China, Portugal, Argentina, Mexico and Estonia,) but all readers in all countries: do you know each other? And if you do not, please have parties and read this, even if it is just the two of each other out... if you do, it will be the three of us...cheers...let me know.

A nod to the past..

A picture. Family gathering. The afternoon of my Father's funeral. I can finally breathe.

A Band had played-made up of his friends-instead of a Eulogy. Stardust. Jesus.

I wept, and crushed my girls.

No mercy expected.

Candid photo. Slipped to me by my cousin/sister over the holidays.

My oldest and coolest brother, three piece suit, cigarette and beer at elbow; my oldest, and only real sister, (although I am closer to my cousins) her weight-spiraling dangerously out of control, and diagnosed by many in the family,to be simply-crazy.

She had been a debutante, the result of Dad marrying for money. California dreaming baby.
I remember a picture of her at two-adorable; her mom, legs folded demurely under her and
Dad posed above the mantle with a pipe-cock of his particular walk.

But he couldn't hold it together. Just another story that begins "...and then I met a woman."

She was connected . Laguna Beach.

Oceanfront dinner jackets. The sound of the surf.

Sammy. Peter Lawford. Phil and Mimi Hines.

Their French Bulldog, Mimi, posed as wiggling centerpiece.

My sister lost her mind early, and behind some truly terrifying men.

I had two nephews serving in Korea, from her union with an Army Officer.

My Brother was the result of urgent war-time sex in the back of a Packard. The hot, Houston night, cloying in the backseat. She has always been a Bayou town. Just big and smelling a bit-much like the last dance at 2 a.m..

Dad, on leave, due to return to England, reeked of gin and eventually an onion field in Belgium, a hunk of his eyebrow blown out by a German .88. shell, burying him. Dug out as if dead. This fucked with him badly.

He wound up at the VA hospital in Waco. My mom and I making the long assed drive. Nobody else.

I remember visiting, in the shadow of huge floor fans. Dad-medicated and vacant. Hum. Hum. Cards were played.

No one cared who won-and the games could go on for days. WWII and Korea, and the starting of a steady stream from Vietnam. Nobody knew from PTSD. They knew from fucked up...cried a lot, too much drink, a bit-of jail, some slapping-given and taken, and say goodbye to sleep.

I arrived in the same dorms in the mid-nineties. His death the catalyst.

I tasted gun oil...he died-three months after my Mom. My ex-wife drove me to the hospital. I was reminded of my first visit, on the government's dime.

I was selling shoes at a Kinney's shoe store in the local south Texas Mall. The military a year behind me.

Married. Wife pregnant. Hopelessly trapped.

Dear Jesus. I lost it. Wound up in a vacant field around nine-one night, dressed in cammo, scoping a deer rifle along the highway, a bottle of Tequila at the ready.

My brother-in -law agreed to drive me to the VA hospital in San Antonio.

Providing they stop for beer. My brother -in -law, his wife (my wife's sister) my wife, and me.

They stopped for beer. I chewed my way through the seat-belt in the backseat. Not easy. Frustration, shaken gently with rage. I was capable.

(Love to have seen the report on the insurance claim.) Just saying thanks.

On the intake form they asked me what my occupation was.

I told them 'Mercenary'...

The black intake nurse looked at me with raised eyebrow. But I think she knew-I could burn it down, if I had to.

They gave me drugs I didn't know how to pronounce. Indian Doctors, in this country to fulfill an obligation, asked me about 'relationships'.

I was kept calm by prescriptions.

My psychologist, cute little white girl; humping that masters degree, turned me on to an Early Christopher Walken piece, and subsequent play, that shed so much light on the 'why' of me.

It was titled, "Who am I this time..." the story of an actor in a community theater that only knew who he was, a sense of identity, with each production.

I started to run... gave me time to think.

A mile, then two...and she was right. I was an actor after all.

I still thought my brother was the shit. Voice like Sam Elliot.

The last time I was eight and he was newly married. Fresh out of the navy, and jail... too cool. My big brother. We were supposed to go to Six Flags. He was in Dallas from Houston. Newly married.

He had a drawl. Looked at our Father with disdain like viewing pecker tracks on a wedding gown.

It wasn't him. She had a lot to do with it, and Dad had been a douche. I didn't blame him, hard when you're eight.

His wife was an Adventist of some kind. Turned him spookily right-(at his funeral she never shed a tear.)

Our Dad- told him to ditch his new bride and go out with the old man and a couple of "Broadies" (Dad's term) to celebrate my brother's wedding..

We never made it to Six Flags. I believe my Father was told to go fuck himself.

My brother turned his back on us until I tracked him down again, a year before Dad died.

I had skills.

I at least did that much. He might have even been proud.

My Aunt, though, anchored the center of the picture.

She embodies my childhood. And my humility.

My brother; dead-a year later-parking lot-outside his pickup truck.

Work. Heart attack.

He had been a printer and worked until the minute he died on a muggy, summer night. Thought he could crawl to the E.R.

My sister, who knows... Arizona?

The high desert? Bagging groceries or reading palms?

My Aunt?...still kicking. Someone God truly loves...just look at her children.

My brother had two blue birds tattooed above his pecs. After his death, I have been known to see bluebirds, checking me out, from time to time.

I choose him..

When Ego hits rock bottom, start digging...

I loved it. Even the boring stuff. I'll say it, aspects of being a Private Investigator are pretty freaking cool. Especially if you live in a fantasy world, (Lawrence Block) and become a caricature of a character in a sober P.I. series. Life could be a movie, sometimes.

Especially the airports. The waiting, gauging the others with you. If the plane goes down, who does the rescue? You? On the job, on a case, watching, But not bloody likely.

Start smoking. Camels.


Interior of Mexico-Medical records from an all Spanish speaking hospital on a couple of Norte-Americanos-insurance claim in the states. Records indicating other wise down south. I do not speak Spanish.

An all black recreational center: my camera in a gym bag on the floor, silently recording a claimant claiming 100 per cent disability, teaching her regularly scheduled aerobics class. Booyah.

Cheating husbands, wives with round heels, kids running away, stolen Mercedes found in a storage facility in Kansas- not a lot of time home. But when I was a present parent, my three-year olds were a riot. One of them used to call me 'Pal...'. How ya doin, pal...

And I lit a a Camel.

We moved to a bedroom community north-west of Dallas. I was out of town 60-70 percent of the time and my wife had grown depressed. I, however, was not around to witness it.

I was being responsible.

Did I mention I was miserable?

Example: Wife asks, (after experiencing massive weight gain) "Do you know what I would like to be?"

I answered without thinking. "A size six."

Yeah...I know.

Camel non-filters. Yeah.

I know.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

I have an unfortunate personality-Orson Welles

Yeah, me too.

Okay, I will unveil the curtain for another moment and explain the bank account situation is in progress and not going to be written about in real time.

I need the perspective it will take, that hopefully time will provide, to make it interesting to be read.

Plus, I am not giving this bitch an inch. She has taken enough.

I am told to forgive; to remember my part in the equation. I am reminded-I am the only one on my particular side. I am, after all, Irish. I am also reminded that my alcoholism is much like an Irish dwarf-it isn't big and it isn't clever. But it will get the feckin' job done, all the same.

My goal is to simply outlive her and I will not give her any more time on this blog, at least not in the present.

Her story will best be served cold.

So, where were we?

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Nicholson needs a drink...

It's that moment in The Shining. Jack needs a drink, in the scene right before he completely loses his shit in the bathroom with the dead, old naked broad.

"I'd give my damn soul for just a glass of beer." He meets Lloyd the Bartender.

It is that conversation-when a rovering drunk chooses to go back down that same tired road after a bit of abstinence, you can hear it in his voice, that same conversation, every time.

He's whistling in the dark muttering, "It's the white man's burden Lloyd, the white man's burden," as Lloyd pours him bourbon, on the rocks.

Or whatever his poison happens to be.

"As long as I live, she will never let me forget what happened." Head in his hands.

No shit Lloyd.

"What'll it be Mr. Torance, it's on the house."

"Anything you say Lloyd, anything you say."

Living will...

Why not. I can add to it as I go, so whatever is on here when I die, there ya go. Instructions for my final send off. And to think I am of sound mind...

First and foremost request, Headstone is to read "Hey, I can see up your dress from here." Only.

Also request Lonely Teardrops by Jackie Wilson and Good Golly Miss Molly by Little Richard, be played at the end of the ceremonies so everyone leaves on a high note.

Plus, if you drink, please do so at my memory. If not, have fun with what's left. And if anyone plays Tears in Heaven I will haunt you. Or say, "He was a good man..." I have evidence to the contrary. Much rather someone say "He meant well."

Now, if any one chooses sureptitious sex or Mitch Albom, or any other request, please request, though not in a keening wale.

Any other musical requests, please leave a comment.

Seriously. This is just in case. I am not, I repeat not depressed nor am I planning on hurting myself in anyway. It may seem morbid but it just makes sense if I want these things to happen, someone should know about them.

Satire is tragedy plus time-Lenny Bruce.

Sure, given enough time anything is possible...except more time.

This blog has turned a page. Before, the memories of my screwed up life seemed suited enough for many of you to want to read, but after yesterday's post I don't know any more. If conflict is interesting, then life just became more so.

Is my life written out and shared in real time, enough to hold your interest? My struggles, my selfish attempts at retribution, my minor triumphs?

I thought about leaving, of course I did, it's how I'm wired...but there was no where to go. The State Department or some such watchdog agency has my passport 'flagged' for just such an occasion. I cannot obtain a passport, let's say-to work overseas as a contractor and make enough money to have all this paid off in three months, no, let's keep me here, working for tips.


I mentioned I thought about a drink. I did not act on it, for those of you who might be concerned.

Not a great time to be having a crisis of faith...but what if this was the catalyst? Maybe this is what it takes to restore it...


Could I do "The underside...from underground?"

Completely fall off the radar? Probably not. I'd much rather someone buy the film rights to this blog and the whole matter is taken care of.

Plus, Internet access in the jungle is spotty at best.

But I do enjoy a good hammock and I'm a sucker for an umbrella in my drink...

Paul Gauguin was my favorite syphilitic pederast. (Possibly the first time that's ever been written)

And from what I understand, rather unpleasant. Good for him.

Friday, December 5, 2008

She lives...

Today I am breaking from the narrative of the past into a very unsettled 'right now'. For those of you who might wonder if all this is true, I sincerely wish it were not.

I checked my bank account earlier this afternoon. I thought I had about twenty-eight dollars after the rent check cleared.

My balance was $-24,898.71.

25K in the hole since breakfast? WTF. Are you serious?

The amount is remarkably similar to the amount owed my first ex-wife, money for our 26 year-old, married and divorced (once that I know of), daughter.

Another item to add to my list-why Santa shot himself in the head. (For the record her efforts netted her a big 28 dollar 'score', and countless hours of me trying one more time to un-tangle my life...thanks, sweety.)

My other Holiday favorites included being left by my last ex-wife a week before Thanksgiving, culminating in waking up face down in a turkey t.v. dinner. (To include cranberry sauce in the hair. A legion of Newcastle Ale cans as testimony to my heartbreak. )

My Mom dying a week before Christmas is certainly a contender, as well as some very rather unpleasant holiday memories. But they all make it what it is- one big-bullshit gumbo, using money I don't have to buy things for people that they don't need.

And I better be smiling, cause it's the holidays mister, and we have a brother in the White House, and Wall Street is paralyzed but still strong...It's no Wal-Mart but don't forget to pay promptly please.

Pay the bills, and child support, Kid grown? no matter-pay up and try to eat, and keep up car insurance, and pay child support, and stay out of the rain, want heat? more child support, meet somebody forget it, more child support, economy bad, too bad...change? Not from down here...

The thought of a drink has brushed past my lapels but I know enough to ignore it. I think...

I lay my head down wiser but wary.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

I try to look on the bright side; much like looking for the humor section in a feminist bookstore.

There was cost involved in this incident.

Sure; the $24 dollars, wallet, badge, ID, assorted wallet crap-I was out that. But there was something more.

Something had been taken from me, and I felt horribly flawed by the news.

I became hyper-vigilant to the point my wife was scared to leave the apartment. I just thought it prudent to warn her what could be out there. Don't be a victim. Situational awareness- I could have used some.

But the things I became involved in, soon became too personal. I couldn't separate myself from who I was/What I did being the same thing.

I was armed-everywhere.

I was offered a full time position with the DA's office. Paralegal, full time. Wow-window of opportunity-wide open. Wind up crashing through the closed one.

I told them no. No to the county benefits, the county job security, the would have been retired by now had I said

I became a P.I.

Good money, travel, work by myself. Liked it.

Of course it sounded romantic, but there's nothing like peeing in a coffee cup while following someone in a fast moving, surreptitious vehicle, to dispel the rest of that rumor.

Surveillance; insurance work, pretty run of the mill. But all of it tinting my attitude. Pretty soon my outlook darkened. People. Not impressed.

For a while it looked good on me.

But there were spies everywhere...

Monday, December 1, 2008

I have no script for healthy...

I needed to call my wife. I just wanted news that my babies were OK, and that they still had a Daddy.

She was appropriately concerned, and I believe it to be genuine. She was always easy to emotionally persuade.

I had a script for that. She had issues. Mainly parental, but we had lived with them. I observed. I learned. I knew how to do that. I knew where the buttons were. I even helped install some of them.

All of my relationships have been unhealthy, in some regard. All of them. I do not know from 'healthy'. I do not have a script for that. If you are a woman and in my life even peripherally and you do not have wants or needs from me, I do not know how to react to that. I promise you, I am winging it.

The adrenaline dump took the better part of a day, and when it did, I slept for 12 hours. I woke up not wanting to talk about it... with her.

I needed people who had been there before me. I needed people who do it every day.

I told you the line was strong.

I tried talking about it in a meeting. No cops. No veterans. At least from that kind of war.

I knew where to go.

I knew someone at the DA's office. A good friend of hers had been shotgunned to death in an undercover operation gone very, very, wrong.

These are the ties that bind.

My new disclaimer...yeah I know.

Okay, the old disclaimer was tired. The ideas were outdated and keeping me stuck in a place I don't want to be now for something more refreshing.

I have recently changed my views regarding women. Seems I had some issues with the fairer sex due to past pain and self- centered fear. (Yes...duh applies.)

I'm done with that.

Being in recovery has helped me change my entire life, perceptions and attitudes. I cannot change my history but I can change my today and my future.

I recently realized that the women I know in recovery are some of the strongest, bravest, most gentle and kind teachers I have ever had. You exemplify integrity and spiritual growth, and I hope you know who you are.

Some may know of my past marital and relationship history and been a participant in them as well. It's past and that's where it the past.

I own my part in those failures but claim no more responsibility in any misery you may be experiencing. I am sorry, but it's time to get off the cross. We need the wood.

Thank you all...