July 4th

Like a true patriotic participant of life, the loverly Miss Freckles, and I chose to watch the Fireworks and Fourth Of July festivities at Amarillo ‘s own John B Stiff park, yes that is the name of the park in Southwest Amarillo and as often times the case, the name has a significance to this story. Freckles, as you may recall lived upstairs from me before moving to Austin to attend school. She is back for the summer and being the charitable person she is, dropped by to encourage me to attend the aforementioned festival with her.

Miss Freckles has been an important character to me, in more ways than her youthful spirit could ever know. Hell maybe I was even important to her. We were important because we were important to each other. We were all we had. Two star crossed characters in this journey of a journal in the book of life.

Other than the elaborate fireworks display, the highlight of the evening happened when Freckles, either accidentally or deliberately, spilled half a pint of draft beer directly into my lap, immediatly grabbed a few napkins, and began a series of rather elaborate, incredibly zealous, but certainly not unappreciated attempts at mopping up the situation. By this time of the evening both of us were drunk enough to go duck hunting with a rake. But all that notwithstanding, it was one of those delicious, indelible moments that I have often alluded to, one of those little moments that will live forever.

If you have never had a young beautiful lady attempt with all of her heart to devotedly, dedicatedly mop up beer that she has spilled in your lap, you, my friend, have not lived.

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A Door Is Ajar

door-ajar.jpg

It was purely by accident that while on autopilot my car ventured to the general location of Freckles new apartment. In front of her place was parked a long black limo. My own less than long black car stalled near by. Maybe it ran out of gas, or some other mechanical failure that halted its ability to move. Night descended upon Amarillo and the long black limo remained in front of Freckles. It might have been ten minutes. It might have been fifteen. I waited with the patience some religious sects exhibit as they wait for the world to end.  It didn’t of course. It just got darker outside, colder in my car, and darker and colder in my mind as I imagined who was with Freckles alone in her apartment. What was taking this couple so long to return to the limo.

Suddenly like a couple they exited the building.

There is something about the facile happiness of beautiful young couples that is inherently irritating to the mind of a rugged individualist.  There does seem to be many beautiful couples in this world and very few of us individualist left, rugged or otherwise.  Most of them like Van Gogh or Anne Frank, have died lonely deaths, having made a few clumsy, adolescent, star-crossed, interpersonal steps toward love before they got run over by trains passing in the night.  It wasn’t spiritually best foot forward, I thought to watch too many happy young couples get into limousines. Nothing against limos, of course. They  can’t help it if they are sleek, and even if you die in the gutter,they will sometime take you to the bone orchard. I wanted to warn Freckles about walking on Agamemnon’s blood red carpet. I wanted to take her hand and save her from the stranger and the limo.

There is so little human grace in the act of watching a happy young couple getting into a limo. There is more grace and more humanity released into this world when you listen to two whippoorwills calling each other in the dark. “Too bad it was a limo.” as I watched the limo drive away. I’d been cruelly denied the chance to say:  “Follow that cab.”

It started to rain. It was raining all over the world. I bet it was even a rainy night in Georgia.

I paced back and forth. I pondered the thought of calling Freckles this morning and making an attempt at opening diplomatic relationships.   The feeling was pervasive and foreboding and shunted my senses back to about the time a former lover fell off my stack of  High Times magazines.  Those were the days when people died dancing.  When they died in the fast lane with my latest love letter in their purse. They of course were us, we just didn’t know it yet.  Kaci and I never had a chance. Our love conked at a quarter past Cinderella time in the sky on a stage in a building very similar to where I live, and yes it was this one.

So today I kept watching out the window in hopes I might see eyes the color of a hotel swimming pool.  One Flew Over The Cookoo’s Nest a movie that was released in 1975. The title of that movie perfectly described how I felt. like a shell shocked soldier from a long ago war, I jumped at the pounding on my door.

I wandered around for a while before going home, if you could call it that.  I walked down the sidewalk and took out my keys to unlock the door. But, the door was ajar.

I’ve always associated the phrase “the door is ajar” with the death of my mother.  It has to do with the teddy bear that she left me when she died in 1997 two days after my birthday.  The teddy bear had a limited Made in China voice that said s few phrases. One of those being a door is ajar.  At that time in my life one certainly was.   It has to do with the right things you think about at the sad times.  There was a black limo ready to take the family to the cemetary.  It sat all alone in the parking lot of the funeral home with all the somber, slightly snobbish, nameless luxury vehicles that typically seem to frequent funerals.   When the Lord closes the door, he opens a little window.  A door is ajar.  A jar is a door. Praise be.  My mother, my dad, my brother, Bill, Miss Amarillo 1969, people who’s love never had a sell by date, all in heaven and only me left to drive like hell down a dusty rural Texas road somewhere far inside the secret linkage of the heart.

Freckles was sitting on the couch. She was holding the Teddy Bear.  Neither seemed the slightest bit concerned.   Freckles stretched her long languorous legs.  They were longer and she was hotter than summers in New Orleans before Jimmy Swaggart said let there be air conditioning.  They were longer than a lifetime when I’d last seen her.   Possibly this was because she was now wearing an extremely short skirt. I was trapped within my walls.

Freckles did not strike fear into me, but she did make me nervous.

“Alone at last.” she said.

If you are younger than 18, or 21 in states inhabited by Christians, Muslims, Jewish people, L. Ron Hubbard or any other really uptight group of people you might stop reading this story here.  If you proceed then any resulting loss of sleep, sexual dysfunction, hearing loss is your fault not mine.

You may not be aware of this, but it is against the law to transport bull semen on a Greyhound bus in Texas.  There are many reasons for this restriction, but first and foremost among them is the fact that is very difficult to wash bull semen out of a peach colored dress. Just knowing this information was one thing. Being able to use it effectively in interpersonal relations was quite another. You’d think that a man, a woman, a Greyhound bus, a peach colored dress, and a gallon or two of bull semen would make for a good country song by Willie Nelson or possibly even a play by Willie Shakespear. You’d think these disparate elements could cling comfortably, tragically together like colorfully colored cowboy shirts spinning into each others arms in the dryer of a laundromat at midnight.  Unfortunately, there is a fine line between fiction and nonfiction and I think I snorted it in 1986. As events and individuals unfolded.The first thing I wanted to write about this scenario didn’t quite hold up.  It almost did, but that wasn’t so bad either.

‘Sorry, I just dropped in like this,” she said as she held the Teddy bear.

“How’d you get in?”

“The door was ajar.”

She leaned back and pulled one bare foot onto the couch so that it nestled directly under a pair of  now and again visible pink ladies undergarment.

I poured two rather long drinks, they had to be long. I needed to keep my eyes off the predatory smile and the pink ladies undergarment.  I had to think, she came here to seduce me.  She was a sexy shark swimming around for the kill.

Life is a game anyway, I figured and you never stop playing until you die trying.

“Why are you afraid of me?” she said as she grabbed my arm and pulled me onto the couch. “We have some unfinished business.”  I almost spilled my drink.  Any other time I would have enjoyed this little game and let the shark eat me alive but I was suffering from limo envy.

As shadows fell across the room and like a well rehearsed ballet day became night. I kept talking, bringing drinks and the sofa had turned into an extremely passionate magic carpet ride.

Freckles had been my first passenger in a while and I wasn’t ready just yet to toss her off the train.  Like the pieces of a puzzle in an out of body experience, I had many irrational subconscious pictures flash briefly across the old-time drive-in-theater screen of my grey matter department.  Like life itself the images were jumbled, mixed up, insane, and they vanished quickly, signifying zippo and I’m not talking about the lighter.  I, for the sake of decency and respect for the younger readers of this blog will sum up this part of the story by saying all that I remember is a man in a Greyhound dress, a woman in a peach colored bus, and the whole world drowning in a biblical deluge, though it was probably only a gallon or two, of something that appeared to be bull semen.

We said our goodbyes without settling the unfinished business. We vowed to meet again. And neither of us doubted that destiny would bring us together again.   Because of circumstances beyond our control, I don’t think either of us looked forward to that occasion.  In affairs of this nature, somebody always gets hurt.

I thought of Princess Diana, she was a kindergarten teacher, I reflected so was Golda Meir.  And if I really went into the details it wouldn’t be fit for someone in kindergarten.

The whole incident left me in the market for a new laugh. I get a new one every seven hundred years.   The one I had sounded pretty much like an old wooden cross between the shriek of a rusty barn door. Fortunately, I rarely used my old laugh, so it never attained the interpersonal irritation value it should have merited. But there was something funny about his mess between Freckles and myself.

She had left enough signals much like a code breaker in a grainy old World War II movie, when in fact the only thing that was in any danger of breaking was my heart, and even that could probably be avoided if I could come up with a new laugh.  There was, in fact, some humor in all of this, but just as humor is a very close cousin to the truth, so it follows that it’s harder to laugh when you see the joke is on yourself. And this goes beyond the Freckles of the world, if that notion could ever be pluralized, which I doubt. But I’m talking about the way life impersonally, implacably, yet given the definite appearance of some kind of divine vendetta beats every fucking one of us down whether we acknowledge it or not or just call it religion.

Whether you are an English Channel swimmer who drowns in the bath tub, or a former prostitute that can’t get laid, you probably get the cosmic joke sooner or later and you’ll understand that whether God created man-as most kindergarten teachers believe-or man created God-as most college professors believe-both of them are pretty perverse specimens. Man and God would make pretty good alcoholic drinking buddies, kind of like Van Gogh and Gauguin except without the talent. You parents should tell your children that man is fucked, inescapably fucked.  Tell them that God is a British Gentleman walking around with white gloves and an umbrella and two thousand years of militaristic violence and other peoples spilled blood in his veins.  Tell them to get a new laugh every few years, trade it in on the old model, don’t use it excessively in restaurants or public places because insightful individuals will recognize almost immediately that they are miserable.

I came from a small, ill tempered family.  A happy childhood left me unprepared for life.

Piss Poor

piss poor

They used to use urine to tan animal skins, so families used to all pee in a pot & then once a day it was taken & Sold to the tannery…….if you had to do this to survive you were “Piss Poor”

But worse than that were the really poor folk who couldn’t even afford to buy a pot……they “didn’t have a pot to piss in” & were the lowest of the low

The next time you are washing your hands and complain because the water temperature isn’t just how you like it, think about how things used to be. Here are some facts about the 1500s:

Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May, and they still smelled pretty good by June.. However, since they were starting to smell . …… . Brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor. Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting Married.

wedding

Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children. Last of all the babies. By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it.. Hence the saying, “Don’t throw the baby out with the Bath water!”
bath
Houses had thatched roofs-thick straw-piled high, with no wood underneath. It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the cats and other small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof. When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof… Hence the saying “It’s raining cats and dogs.”

There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house. This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could mess up your nice clean bed. Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection. That’s how canopy beds came into existence.

The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt. Hence the saying, “Dirt poor.” The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery in the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on floor to help keep their footing. As the winter wore on, they added more thresh until, when you opened the door, it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entrance-way. Hence: a thresh hold.

In those old days, they cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle that always hung over the fire.. Every day they lit the fire and added things to the pot. They ate mostly vegetables and did not get much meat. They would eat the stew for dinner, leaving leftovers in the pot to get cold overnight and then start over the next day. Sometimes stew had food in it that had been there for quite a while. Hence the rhyme: Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old. Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel quite special. When visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon to show off. It was a sign of wealth that a man could, “bring home the bacon.” They would cut off a little to share with guests and would all sit around and chew the fat.

Those with money had plates made of pewter. Food with high acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food, causing lead poisoning death. This happened most often with tomatoes, so for the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were considered poisonous.

Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle, and guests got the top, or the upper crust.

Lead cups were used to drink ale or whisky. The combination would Sometimes knock the imbibers out for a couple of days. Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial.. They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up. Hence the custom of holding a wake.

England is old and small and the local folks started running out of places to bury people. So they would dig up coffins and would take the bones to a bone-house, and reuse the grave. When reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been burying people alive… So they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell. Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night (the graveyard shift.) to listen for the bell; thus, someone could be, saved by the bell or was considered a dead ringer.

And that’s the truth….Now, whoever said History was boring? :)
Share with friends and family, let them know where the origin of their sayings came from.
Read more at http://www.thisblewmymind.com/origin-piss-poor-popular-sayings/#YfM6zqdGBIXG1RvS.99

July 4th

Like a true patriotic participant of life, the loverly Miss Freckles, and I chose to watch the Fireworks and Fourth Of July festivities at Amarillo ‘s own John B Stiff park, yes that is the name of the park in Southwest Amarillo and as often times the case, the name has a significance to this story. Freckles, as you may recall lived upstairs from me before moving to Austin to attend school. She is back for the summer and being the charitable person she is, dropped by to encourage me to attend the aforementioned festival with her.

Miss Freckles has been an important character to me, in more ways than her youthful spirit could ever know. Hell maybe I was even important to her. We were important because we were important to each other. We were all we had. Two star crossed characters in this journey of a journal in the book of life.

Other than the elaborate fireworks display, the highlight of the evening happened when Freckles, either accidentally or deliberately, spilled half a pint of draft beer directly into my lap, immediatly grabbed a few napkins, and began a series of rather elaborate, incredibly zealous, but certainly not unappreciated attempts at mopping up the situation. By this time of the evening both of us were drunk enough to go duck hunting with a rake. But all that notwithstanding, it was one of those delicious, indelible moments that I have often alluded to, one of those little moments that will live forever.

If you have never had a young beautiful lady attempt with all of her heart to devotedly, dedicatedly mop up beer that she has spilled in your lap, you, my friend, have not lived.

The Longer The Driveway

One bright morning last week I believe it was.  I asked if she wanted a particular article of clothing back that she had given me one night before she went away.  I knew the pretense of closure would not be realized until I got rid of them. Yet I didn’t want to just throw them in the trash.

I decided to burn them just like all the letters she had written me. Cremate them. Soon a tiny bonfire was blazing and I mumbled a farewell. I poured two shots of Jameson, one for myself another for Lexxi or Jesus, whomever decided to come back first. As I watched the article of clothing burn down to a primeval ash, I recalled an article I had read about a pizza delivery guy and he was discussing the job.

….”The longer the driveway, the lower the tip.”

A cat sitting on the fence staring at me looked as if I had suggested we both grab violins and dance slowly around the funeral pyre.

As mundane as remarks often do, it applied to more than delivering pizzas.  It was germane to the emotional obstacle course I’d been through recently and  continue to go through.  The cat said nothing, There was nothing to say.

The next morning I dug a grave for the ashes of the piece of clothing and buried them by the ashes of the letters.  The longer the driveway, It wasn’t a perfect  resolution to the story and if I had been slightly off the mark in my judgement, at least I had been correct in my basic assessment of human nature.

She was out there where only a few errant moonbeams deflecting from the modern world would ever touch her. She was starting a new life.

Zelina  arrived about half past Gary Cooper time along with the mailman. I used to wait everyday for the mailman. Now it makes me sad to think all those letters that once meant so much, meant nothing at all.

Zel and I walked toward old Route 66 in a light rain. There is something very soulful about 6th Street as it is called now in the rain. The sights and smells and sounds and neon signs all seem to run together like a tye dyed shirt I had let over from the sixtys.  I said to Zel, ” To quote a few lines from an old song: “We come to see what we want in this world. We come to see but we never come to know.”  She had already moved on before she got home and it was time I did the same. I looked ahead at the shiny wet, neon reflecting streets.

She was as close to me as any human I had allowed in a long time. For six months she was with me in my thoughts, every moment of every day; on my table, on the bed, by my keyboard, We who love lives in such a temporary manner live in a fragile circle. Now as I write this on this rainy grey night, I can almost feel her light touch, moving from my head and my heart down through my fingertips to the keys of my keyboard. People often surprise you with their unexpected meanness.

Mr language Person

With the pending demise of xanga, several of my readers have asked me to help them make better impact in their journals. To do this of course they need a better understanding of the English Language. Not being an expert in this as with everything else I called my friend Mister Language Person, the  internationally recognized expert and author of the authoritative Oxford  Harvard NYU Cambridge Big Book O`Grammar to answer the questions they asked of me. We want to thank @RighteousBruin, @adamswomanback, and @leaflesstree , and @Megabyyte and her glow in the dark bra) for submitting these questions.

leaflesstree.. What is the difference between “criteria” and “criterion”?

MLP (Mister Language Person) These often confused words belong to a family rules that grammarians call “metronomes,” meaning “words that have the same beginning but lay eggs underwater.” The simplest way to tell them apart is to remember to use criteria this way: “When choosing a potential xanga person to meet, the main criteria is hair.” Whereas “Criterion” is a kind  of car.

adamswomanback: What is the correct way to spell words?

MLP: English spelling is unusual because our language is a rich verbal tapestry woven together from tongues of the Greeks, the 76`s, the Celtics,  the Eagles, the Latin`s, the Angles, the Klaxtons, the Cowboy`s and many other ancient peoples, all of whom had severe drinking problems. This is  why it so important that we old folks teach young persons the reliable spelling rule we learned as children namely:

“I” before “C” or when followed by “T”`  O`er the ramparts we watched.  Not excluding joint taxpayers filing singly.
EXCEPTION: Suzi`s All Nite E-Z Drive Thru Notel Motel.”

RighteousBruin: What the heck are “ramparts” anyway?

MLP: They are parts o a ram, and they were considered a great delicacy in those days. People used to watch o`er them.

leaflesstree: I know the difference between the proper usage of “compared with” and “compared to”

MLK. I don`t care.

adamswomanback: Please explain punctuation.

MLP: It would be “my pleasure.” The main punctuation marks are the period, the coma, the lieutenant, the semi-lieutenant, the probation mark, the catastrophe, the eclipse, the Happy Face, and the box the person marks “yes” to receive more information. You should place these marks in your sentences at regular intervals to indicate to your reader that some kind of punctuation is occurring.

RighteousBruin: Does anybody besides total jerks ever use the phrase “as it were?”

MLP: No

megabyyte “What is the correct way of encouraging “chatter” that baseball infielders should yell to the pitcher`?

MLP: They should yell” hum babe hum babe hum babe HUM BABA HUM BANE HUM BABE.”

megabyyte: May they also yell, come on sexy hitch them tight ass baseballs pants a little more so I can see that huge ass bulge out front.

MLP: Only if you are gay or female.

adamswomanback: What is the difference between “take and “brung?

MLP: “Take” is a transitory verb that is used in statements such as” The jerk up and took off.” “Brung” is a consumptive injunction and must be use as follows: “We brung some stewed ramparts to Aunt Vespa`s but she was already dead so we ate em ourselves.”

leaflesstree: What is Presidents OBAMA’S`s native language?

MLP: He doesn`t have one.

You got a question for Mister Language Person? We`re not surprised