Good Morning Wistful Ones,
Last week my pitiful little world was turned upside down. Funny though it wasn’t from the usual sources, rather it came straight from left field! These days the shit bringing me to my knees can be nothing more than a phone bill! This time the distraction was a pleasant one. I was allowed a brief sojourn to my days of being 19 with all the trappings. A young 16 year old was the girlfriend of Phil who at the time was one of my good friends. I was smitten with her but obviously never acted on it. She came from a pretty rough upbringing and was on her own much of the time and considering her stunning body and good looks passed as much older than her delicate years. My kids talked me into setting up a Facebook account to keep track of what’s going on with ALL my children. I was vaguely aware of these things, but couldn’t have imagined how structured it all is. It truly impressed me. Two weeks after setting it up I managed to have ten friends largely due to the efforts of my kids. If you look carefully while in the search mode you can find people that join, but under the category of ‘Friends’ it will sadly say “User has no friends!” Lamentable as that is, at least I’m out there.
Not to be sappy, but Michelle contacted me the next day. I spent the next three days exchanging long emails with questions about everything. There was an equal number of young men and woman in our group and from 1969 through 1974 we shared experiences that should always tie us together. These extraordinary times contained the limitless possibilities I swore would always be there. In the past I’ve taken liberties with the truth, and I know I don’t deserve consideration, but the two or three of you reading this dramatic emphasis must believe me when I say I was swept away in reliving this time. You must understand; I hitched-hiked from Queens, NY to Sacramento, CA, spent three days in a ‘Commune’ atop the Santa Cruz Mountains, caught a freight train to Bakersfield, was drafted, busted for half a joint, lived with ‘Checkers’ the monkey, went AWOL, became a student, and thought I was a hot shot artist. I really lost focus with the day to day and allowed myself to dwell in great detail all these events with their accompanying network of side chapters. GOD I COULD ALMOST TASTE THE POTATO MUNCHIES! I honestly don’t think it’s healthy, but thoroughly enjoyed it anyways. Michelle (former Playboy Bunny) still looks fabulous and has kept herself in remarkable shape. It was good to hear from her.
For three days I escaped without the aid of accoutrements suitable for the occasion, but was finally forced to snap out of it. It took a great effort to pull out because it felt so good to stay in that self-absorbed sense of going someplace. The comfort felt while draped in this cloak of melancholy is addictive. I think I got a small glimpse as to how one can get to this place and never return. I know it sounds pathetic and Lord knows I’d be hard pressed to say otherwise, but I swear by reasonable men everywhere I never believe I’m out of options. We human beings tend to be a fragile lot. We subject ourselves to all manner of self-thrashing; God forbid we fall short of our expectations! I just heard about the 2nd suicide in as many years from my loose affiliation with drunks. I didn’t know the man but he was a frequent visitor to Dewey’s and seemed like a decent sort of fellow. He looked as though he belonged at ‘curmudgeon corner’ but kept to himself. He was an electrician who inherited money allowing him to retire early. This is something most of us would have considered good luck because I always thought money would solve all my problems….maybe not. No……I’m pretty sure it would!
Fragility aside, emotional pain does far more damage than a physical wound. Without sounding like the weepy-eyed whiners in therapy, everyone knows a physical wound will heal leaving only a scar. The poignant events that tear our hearts out tend to take much longer to heal if at all. I see evidence of this all around me as the bar is always filled with self-medicating morons adding patches to their leaking souls. Dewey’s can be a cruel place at times, because within 24 hours of Steve’s shot through the head a dead pool was created to predict which one us is next. We raised $150 for the winner. However, I was surprised to learn I was one of several put on the list! Some of the others I know on death watch are Gigem, Jim (west side of bar), Frank the shank, and Cush. For those of you picking me I hope to disappoint you.